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Archives for : May2015

Episode 11- Podcast Roulette

On this episode, The Mistresses cover topics like genetic modification, TIME CLOAKS, Touching Evil #6 by Dan Dougherty, The Outhousers, Physicist Twitter crushes and more. They also premiere the very first PODCAST ROULETTE format, where they interview 4 different artists within 40 minutes. Joined by an amazing cast of indie creators/fellow podcasters:

Aaron Moore, Chris Otto, JR. Blanton and Todd of Basement Fodder. Make sure you tune in to listen to the rousingly successful experimental format!

Episode 46

We are back from Cherry Capital Comic Con….and boy are we exhausted. Check it out as we review the weekend and many of the awesome people we had the opportunity to meet and hang out with. We also talk about another con that took place this weekend, Denver Comic Con. Denver made a pretty big mistake when they enlisted some folks to talk about women in comics…they forgot the women. We also speculate on what we will expect from the new DC YOU that will be starting next week.

 

Stay Nerdy My Friends.

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Vitamin String Quartet ~ ‘Tribute to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ 2009

The sound of string quartets are so commonly  overlooked. Since most people do not like classical music, or show no appreciation for classical music. That is where Vitamin String Quartet, VSQ for short, verges on their own path. Being a huge music buff I can say with some authority there are good and bad cover songs. This album of seven different Red Jumpsuit Apparatus songs, most of their larger and best known songs. ‘Your Guardian Angel’, ‘Face Down’, and ‘False Pretense’ are just a few of the great songs on this album. With just four stringed instruments they cover the songs with such precision the lack of vocals is a moot point. It is almost as if your ears are playing a trick on you and you can hear a soft voice singing along with the songs, so it wouldn’t matter. This is just one of the many tribute albums put out by the VSQ. And is also why I give this album a solid 8.5 out of 10.

Kickstarter of the Week 5/26/15 – Fathers: Balancing Family & Art

This week we are talking to Brian John Mitchell, Director of Operations for Silber Records, about his Kickstarter for his ebook Fathers: Balancing Family & Art.

 

DN: What can you tell us about the project?

Brian John Mitchell: All the way back in 1994 I started a paper zine called QRD that was interview based & as the internet became a more important platform to spread the word about things it became a webzine &  I started doing more & more interviews without space as a constriction.  In 2007 I started doing interviews with musicians & artists about the difficulties of balance art & family.  Which is a difficulty every artist faces, how to balance their art time versus other responsibilities.  Anyway, this project is an ebook collecting the 80 interviews I’ve done over the past few years.

DN: Can you please tell us about the creative team?

BJM: It’s just me & the 80+ dads I’ve interviewed.  A lot of cartoonists & musicians & a few other artists.  You can see a full list of the guys on the project site.

DN: Where did the inspiration for this project come from?

BJM: It’s odd to me, but the way the internet works has changed over the past few years.  People seem to have shorter attention spans.  It’s made a webzine a little less good as the final home for in depth interviews.  So I’m trying to do an ebook instead to see if that can act as a better place to gather a massive collection of interviews.

DN: Is there a reward you were super excited to offer or one that no one should pass up if it is still available?

BJM: I really wanted to get the ebook out in time for Father’s Day, but leave as much time as possible for people to order it, so that’s left fancy add ons out.  No bells & whistles on this project.  Just the ebook & it’s cheap.

DN: Anything else you would like to share?

BJM: I really feel like a lot of the interviews in the collection could be really inspirational to people who feel like time is keeping them from doing the things they love.  If something is important to you, you can figure out how to make time for it – or at least rip off other people’s methods to have time for the things you love.

I would really like to thank Brian for his time. This is once again a very unique project and very inexpensive to back. Please consider heading over the Fathers: Balancing Family & Art Kickstarter page and pledging something towards this cool project.

Episode 10 – Howie Noeldechen

Our very first Podcast Guest is back with stories from his recent Pennhurst Asylum ghost hunting trip, as well as more news on his wildly successful Kickstarter. We talk ghost hunting gear and procedures, collected evidence, as well as stretch goals for his Kickstarter, and much more. Crystal and I talk our personal paranomral experiences, as well as a plethora of other topics on this interesting and thought provoking podcast as only the Mistresses can bring you!

Episode 9 – JM Hunter

This episode, the Mistresses speak to the artist and author extraordinaire JM. HUNTER!!! We talk his passing of the torch to our own Crystal Chaos as well as the projects he’ll be a part of, a possible poetry collaboration with Michelle Mayhem and the perils of drawing penises. We laugh, we sketch and we learn.

Dave the Nerd’s Music Review – Kitty in a Casket ~ ‘Bittersweet’ 2013

‘Bittersweet’ is the third entry into the discography for the Austrian psycho-billy/punk rock group known as Kitty in a Casket. With the amazing vocal talents of one Ms. Kitty Casket, she takes the genera of psycho-billy to new levels. All of the songs have a horror feel or theme to them. From “Kreepsville 666” to “Fading Away” you will be bouncing around as if it were a post apocalyptic sock hop. It is hard to compare this band with anyone else. Which is a blessing as of late, especially in a world of over produced, auto-tuned slop that passes for music today. But this band and album gives me faith that the world of music is not all bubble gum Top 40 garbage. So will you go “Dancing with the Devil” to “The Cheesy Song”? You I will be jamming ‘Bittersweet’ on 11 with my rating of 10 out of 10. This is an album you do not want to be without.

Kickstarter of the Week 5/19/15 – Mystic Searches

This week’s Kickstarter is one of the most unique projects I have seen. Not only are they creating an 8-bit game, they are doing so ON AN NES CARTRIDGE! However, they did not stop there. In addition to the 8-bit game, they are creating a current generation downloadable game that will share data with the 8-bit cartridge. We talked with Mystic Searches creator Joe Granato about this ambitious project.

Digital Nerdage: Please tell us about yourself.

Joe Granato: I grew up in a small town in central New York, and was exactly the right age to have properly enjoyed the NES era of gaming. I was in my formative years when games like Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and so many others were first introduced. To me, these games weren’t just passive, entertaining ways to pass the time. They prompted me to want to be a creative. Now as a writer, filmmaker, game developer, and musician, I can attribute the impetus for most of my creative success to the time spent in those 8-bit worlds.

DN: Tell us about the game you are Kickstarting.

JG: The game is Mystic Searches. In a few sentences, this is the description:
Mystic Searches is a cross-platform fantasy adventure game. Taking cues from the imagination of a child growing up in the NES era, the NES component of the game is reminiscent of the original Legend of Zelda, Crystalis, and Star Tropics.

In this open world journey through a unique and compelling mythology, the young vagabond Julian will strive to undo the deceptive actions of the rogue sorceress, Amriya, and restore control of the supernatural elements to the Mystics before the imbalance leads to the catastrophic end of the natural world.
The development team behind the game has pooled our collective love for the 8-bit aesthetic, and has tried to hone and combine some our favorite experiences in NES worlds. This includes open world exploration and hidden secrets, diverse methods of play (including some platforming, as the game is 2.5d and the character can jump despite it being a top down perspective), interesting puzzles, and many other things.

DN: What inspired you to make Mystic Searches?

JG: When I was eight years old, I created design documents for my opus, Mystic Searches. I actually sent them to Nintendo. Like so many others my age, the plans were returned to me with a simple form letter. I was crushed. The ideas were filed away and forgotten. I grew up and found other passions. And then not long ago while visiting my parents in upstate New York, I stumbled upon them. I was instantly transported to a simpler time. With sort of a chuckle, I realized I could actually make the game a reality now, and wondered if I could actually make it for the NES as my 8 year old self had intended. And thus, the journey to make Mystic Searches was born.

DN: Whats your favorite reward?

JG: Well, for those that don’t know the full scope of the project, it’s not JUST a NES game. Yes, it’s a NES game cartridge that will work on actual hardware. But also, we are making a modern game playable on PC/Mac and with the intent to port it to consoles. We have developed a peripheral that will allow players to share data between the NES game and the modern game…so for instance, if you unlock an ability in one game, it becomes available in the world of the other. I think this is a really neat way to bridge the generations of gamers, and is a very unique aspect of this project.

DN: What was your favorite game as a kid and why?

JG: I love a good action RPG. I like the pace of an action game, but love connecting with the characters of an RPG, so games that can blend the two seamlessly tend to be the ones that make the top of my personal list.

This is one of my favorite projects I have seen on Kickstarter and one of the most creative as well. I never would have expected to see any one trying to create an NES cartridge in this day and age, but combined with the current generation “data-sharing” this is something unique that should continue to be encouraged. A big thanks to Joe for taking time to talk with us. If you would like to back the project, Mystic Searches  can be found n Kickstarter here.

 

P.S. A big thanks to my cohort Corey for doing the leg work on this one.

Heart Beaten – Review

Heart Beaten for the 3DS shop ($2.99) is the latest version of the game originally created in 24 hours for Global Game Jam of 2013. (The game has also been available on smart devices for a few years now.) The game has retro style and cute presentation that mixes very well with the dark comedic aspect of the subject matter. The story is quick and basic and only really severs the purpose of moving you from one heart crushing/smashing/blending game to the next. A boy meets a girl, falls in love, and then she crushes his heart. It’s your job through mini games to inflict the maximum amount of pain to the young mans heart.

There are 15 mini games with their own set point levels of achievement starting from bronze, to silver, and finally gold. You unlock each mini game with your accumulative point total which was an aspect I really enjoyed. Each mini game feels like its own island and having the barrier for your next game entry being your combined score allowed for some room for error. This gave me the freedom to eek as many points out of games I found more difficult or system damaging (more about that later), but then I had the chance to win back those lost points on experiences I found rather enjoyable. The mini games range from quite clever original content to even a few clones of tried-and-true gaming formulas. All the mini games are simple experiences that take little gaming knowledge to understand. From the very first game titled ‘Tap’ you understand quickly what you need to do. That was also when I realized that I can just end a game and move on because I didn’t feel like tapping a hole into my touch screen to try to achieve a gold rating. Not all the games have hints in the titles or clues to the game play which oddly enough I rather enjoyed. Every experience felt fresh and had a hint of mystery about them while I spent my first moments trying to figure out what to do.

The only major flaw I have with the game is that there is no reason to continue playing it after it’s revealed all of its secrets. Even though I played the game in short bursts to lengthen my experience there is no real driving force for me to really go back to the game. I know that sounds anti-gamer, the enjoyment of simply playing a game and breaking old records should be enough. Right? But, sadly, with all the games I have to play and such little time to play them I don’t really see myself going back to this game very much. Online leader boards (which is available in the smart devices) or even a clever street pass aspect would greatly lengthen the play time and experience.

In conclusion.

I’d give Heart Beaten a Moderate* level of recommendation.

At the end of the day I am happy with the purchase and my time spent with Heart Beaten. I enjoyed my experience and really like supporting small and weird games like this. So, if your a big fan of mini game compilations like WarioWare or just love old-school arcade style game play you should pick this game up. And, for the low barrier of entry mixed with the very funny, original, and deviously dark subject matter it’s well worth the price. If your on the fence about the game than I’d recommend waiting for a sale on the eshop. Take a dollar or so off the price and there is no reason not to pick this game up.

*As you can see if you’ve read my review/recommendation all the way to the end that I don’t give letter or number scores to games. Instead I’ve created a recommendation scale with 3 levels: Low, Moderate and High.

I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope there is more to come.

-Travis

Episode 45

This episode is definitely dominated by the end of the television season. We talk a lot about the season finales (MOSTLY spoiler free) and about the new series that are headed our way.

We also touch on the absolute VENOM that has been thrown at Age of Ultron, and the Archie Kickstarter, and the impending team up of Universal Studios theme parks and Nintendo.

Also, with Cherry Capital Comic Con  looming just a few days away, we plug that as well. Check it out and please tell us what you think!!!

Stay nerdy my friends.