Unlimited Hyperbole #14

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‘Matters of Character’ is a theme we’ve been trying not to interpret too narrowly. Games can be defined as much by their lack of characters, after all – and it was in deciding to explore that that we spoke to Devine Lu Linvega, environment artist on the characterless music game FRACT OSC.

In talking to Devine though, we learned he’s actually bit of a character himself; a polymath who’s often better known as the musician Aliceffekt and a game developer who’d really rather not work on games at all. We spoke to Devine about his thoughts on the games industry, his plans for the future and the unusual range of projects he’s worked on – including the language he designed and his background as a musician.

Unlimited Hyperbole is a short, weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “Matters of Character” – but to find out more about the production of this episode, read after the jump.

So.

Planning out the guests for each series of the show is usually a very informal process; Harriet and I bounce emails back and forth at ridiculous hours, usually starting with an angle the larger theme can be approached from and generating a list of ideal guests from there. Tom Jubert was an easy and immediate choice for last season, for example, while Jon St. Jon was the first of three voice actors we decided we might like to talk to this season.

This episode was a bit troublesome, however. Harriet and I originally decided we’d like to talk to someone who’d worked on a game where the location was the most important/only character, but struggled to find a game that fit the bill. It was only after some serious consideration that we realised the fantastic Spider: Legend of Bryce Manor was a perfect fit and approached game artist Amanda Williams to talk about it.

Sadly, Amanda decided she wasn’t comfortable talking on the show in the end – though she did suggest a few other guests who might be a match, one of which was Devine. After looking at FRACT OSC and hearing Amanda’s endorsement, we decided to refocus this episode on the idea of a characterless world – though in the end this episode is arguably much more about Devine as a character himself.

The purpose of saying all this is two-fold. Firstly, it’s to explain how this episode fits in with the wider topic. More importantly though, it’s to say thanks to Amanda for her help in getting this interview set up – because it wouldn’t have happened without her.

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