Another Interview…

…this one from Elissa Carey:

1. I hear so much praise for UnderWorld. I’d like to eventually see it and play it myself, but for now, tell me what you think makes it the bee’s knees and why others like it so much.

That’s a bad question for me, actually, because I become very harshly critical of my own work in retrospect. I look at UnderWorld now, and all I see are the missed opportunities to do it better. I just see the things that I would’ve preferred to handle differently, or the things that didn’t go the way I wanted them to (whether due to my own inability, or due to comprimises with others). So I really don’t think it qualifies as the bee’s knees, nor can I explain why others do…although to be blunt, I think a lot of that might be simply due to the glow of my particular Cult of Personality, for better or worse.

2. As one of those unlucky bastards with his own company, you have the freedom to make any kind of game you want, and you’ve likely already written the top ones on your list. However, I like to think that our lists change over time. If you could, what game would you most love to write? Not counting the ones currently on your plate, unless one of them (like Apollyon Noir) is it.

I would most love to write a licensed DOCTOR WHO game, simply because of my long-standing love of the program, and my fond memories of playing the FASA version in high school.

My list *does* change over time…but honestly, I’m finding it harder and harder to shoe-horn my inspirations into the RPG format. I keep coming up with ideas for settings and such that I’d like to work on, and then get frustrated as I try to hammer them into a shape that would make sense from a gaming perspective. I’m rapidly arriving at the point where I realize that some of this stuff would work much better in other forms than games…and that idea is interesting to me.

3. What do you dig most about electronic music? Is there a type, like ambient, jungle, drums’n’bass, downtempo, lounge, etc. that you like more than the others? Could you define what the allure is, or is it simply a diggable groove?

What I like most is the discovery of creation: At its best, electronic music manages to create organic, “real” music (in some cases, a “diggable groove”, as you say) through the combination of purely artificial elements, and I find that fascinating. I especially love work that involves samples and found sounds, because that is almost like collage–the re-interpretation of previously-existing materials into new patterns that, when it’s done well, creates entirely new meanings to those materials, without invalidating their old meanings.

4. You’re the only writer I know who has kids older than mine. With just that bit more experience under your belt, what do you think has been the most rewarding aspect of fatherhood for you? Do they think of you as ‘cool,’ or an old fart? Do you think your lessons have sunk through, or will it be just a matter of time?

The most rewarding aspect of fatherhood for me has been the knowledge that I helped to create another individual with their own beliefs, opinions, creativity and personality. That’s still a source of amazement to me, because it’s something that happens so slowly you almost don’t notice it until it’s done. The point at which kids start to assert their own identity, independent of you, is simulateously wonderful and heart-breaking.

5. I am firmly of the opinion that we all have pet theories concerning anything under the sun you can think of. Some of us have just one; some have more than one. (I think I’m of the latter type.) Tell me about yours: wacky, profound, mundane, spiritual, cynical, you name it.

I have a theory that the table-top gaming industry will experience a renaissance in about 25 years or so, when the first generations of gamers start retiring and suddenly have a lot of leisure time available to them again.

(I’ve got tons of other pet theories–that’s the first one that came to mind)


The Interview Meme

Taken from various folks’ Livejournals and blogs.


1 – Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.

2 – I will respond; I’ll ask you five questions.

3 – You’ll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.

4 – You’ll include this explanation.

5 – You’ll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

…and here, the five questions asked of me by Jason L Blair:

1. I know there have been many, but I want you to pick just one: What RPGnet Flamewar made you want to kick the Devil in the what-what the hardest?

Of all of them, I’d have to say the infamous “Clone Wars” would have to top the list (For those of you lucky souls who are unaware: Some asshole registered using my name (minus the hyphen). I saw this, and demanded that the admins delete the account. A disturbingly large percentage of RPGnet’s posting public then proceeded to break their backs bending over backwards to argue that it was possible that there was somebody with the same name as I. It didn’t get much better after that).

The recurrent “Bestiality is just an alternative lifestyle and should be tolerated and celebrated in our diverse culture” bullshit is currently number two with a bullet, though. Another one of those threads, and it might take the lead.

2. What is the one value you hold, above all others, you have tried to instill in your children?

Creativity. Without a doubt.

3. What is the funnest writing project you have ever contributed to or written completely? What made it fun?

The cop-out, but entirely true nonetheless: Whatever project I’m working on at the moment. I’ve got a severe case of “shiny new toy” syndrome. When I’m done working on something, I’m done with it. I become most enthused about the next project I’m doing. I suppose it’s a good thing, since that enthusiasm is often what drives me through to completion.

4. If you were to define yourself by three products that bear your work, which products would those be? Why those three?

Skull & Bones, UnderWorld, and Hong Kong Action Theatre!, because those three are ones which I initially developed (rather than projects where I was playing in someone else’s sandbox).

5. Everyone eventually sleeps in dirt. Would you rather die a) tragically, b) heroically, c) romantically, d) ironically, or e) in a regular ol’ mundane way? Explain why.

Yikes. I’d rather die in a regular ol’ mundane way, in my sleep, at a very advanced age.