MythWits Interviews Frank Mentzer
This week we interviewed the ever awesome Frank Mentzer. Frank is a buddy of mine that I've gotten to know through going to TotalCon. He was one of the earliest developers for Dungeons and Dragons back in the TSR days and was the man behind the "Red Box" edition of D&D that many people cut their gaming teeth on. He talked to us for an hour about the good old days and gave us a head sup on what's coming next from this gaming legend.
MythWits Interviews StoryWeaver
Whaaaaat? That's right, two shows in one week. I interviewed the fellas of StoryWeaver for AetherCon back in November and was so impressed with their work that I wanted them on the show. Due to the time difference we couldn't record during our regular time so we set up an extra show on the weekend. Luckly we cought them all together at CanCon and it was a great show. Check out Episode 405 for the video or 405-I and 405-G for the PodCast.
I released my first official game design blog for GearHead Gamer last week. It's about 3D art in the gaming industry. If you have an opinion on the topic, you should read it and make a comment.
I spent some time putting together topics for future blogs and have 15 so far. This includes 7 recycled blogs from my previous attempt at blogging but I will be revisiting and rewriting them so even if you've read them before, you might find some new useful information.
This weeks GearHead Gamer blog is one of the retrofitted blogs. It's about designing a system that doesn't focus on experience points or leveling up.
Where did the MythWits come from? I wrote about this several years ago in the previous blog and decided that it was as good a time as any to revise, modernize, and repost...
I need to go back to the beginning of my podcasting career to get the real reason the MythWits came to be...
The Tri Tac PodCast begat the TotalCon PodCast, which begat the ConMen PodCast, which begat the MythWits. It's impossible to understand how the MythWits came to be without understanding where it came from.
Tri Tac PodCast
I started the Fringeworthy PodCast with two other gentlemen - Bruce Sheffer and John Reiher - in 2009. We did a show every week about interdimensional gaming in general but also within the context of Fringeworthy. Within a year we renamed it the Tri Tac PodCast so that we could cover all the games of Tri Tac rather than just Fringeworthy.
As one of the hosts, I would often hijack the show and do a live episode at whatever con I was attending. This got me into the mindset that cons were a great place to generate new and exciting episodes.
Side Note: About two years ago I started working with TSR Games to develop the TSR PodCast Network and wound up producing two of their shows. With MythWits, Game School, and Cube of Death on my plate I just didn't have the time for a fourth show in my schedule. The Tri Tac PodCast had grown to five hosts and I felt as though the room was getting a little crowed anyway. I left and they have continued on and still produce a very fine show. You should go listen to it.
One of the cons I frequent is TotalCon and I almost always do a show from there. I got the bright idea of interviewing each of the industry guests of TotalCon and I put out a podcast for them that spanned that year. This was a one time deal and the TotalCon PodCast is essentially dead. I used to host it on this page but it was purged during the revamp.
Because of the contacts I made and the great material I got from TotalCon, I decided that covering all of the cons I went to would be a good idea. That’s when I decided to start the ConMen PodCast. Every con I went to, I gathered interviews and material for my new show. At launch time, I found that someone else had the exact same idea. Two gentlemen from Texas - Adrain Perez and Brian Olvera - were basically launching the same show by the same name. After talking with them, we decided to join forces and we merged shows. This worked for a while but the show never really caught on.
I decided to spice things up a bit. In 2013 I went to GenCon and Dragon*Con with a new mission in mind. I was going to do a bunch of video material for the show. Up until this point, all of my work was audio. While Mike and I were at Dragon*Con we met with fellow podcasters who were huge in the industry and their shows were video. Mike and I decided that the video thing was where it’s at and figured the ConMen would become a video show.
Unfortunately, upon returning from Dragon*Con we found another group calling themselves the ConMen, and then another, and another. Apparently, the name was just too crafty. It was time to rethink our strategy. The next two months were tense. Me and the boys (Mike, Brian, and Adrian) struggled with what to do.
Rise of The MythWits
I told the crew that I wanted to start a new show. Refresh, rebrand, and retool. I wanted an all video show and I wanted to broadcast live. Mike came up with the new name. I purchased the domains and built the new format. Adrian got to work on the new website. And we launched January 6th, 2014. It was Peter Bryant (Me), Mike Kafes, Brian Olvera, and Adrain Perez. We streamed on Twitch and the first couple months were a technological nightmare. Once we switched over to YouTube Live things got a little easier. Live broadcasting integrating Google Hangouts with streaming software and YouTube was a real beast at the time.
Over the past four years we've grown and shrank and slipped sideways. Our tech has greatly improved and our tech issues are way down. Every season has brought some form of growth and change. In the first year we lost Adrian as a host and picked up Allegra Torres. We lost Allegra in the second season and Brian in the third. For the fourth season we brought in Jack Ballard and moved back to Twitch. Also in the third season we added the podcast feed.
The Moral of our Story
Do not quit on your ideas, they can take a long time to mature properly and the first go is not always (almost never) successful. You have to be ready to give up bad ideas and be flexible enough to embrace new ones. Good ideas are often the next one you have.
Please make sure to comment on the episodes of the MythWits. We’d love to hear from you. Also, if you like our show, would you be so kind as to subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, leave us feedback on iTunes, and check out our SoundCloud page. But most of all tell your friends!
If you’re in any sort of geek related industry, make sure to contact me and I’ll see about booking you on the show as a guest.