uk expo 2013 the bits you didn’t see or hear part two

SAMSUNGSo where was I? (always wanted to say that!) staying at jaszmines was fun and I really need to thank her for walking me back to the train station! those who read part one and the red dwarf blog will know that my sense of direction is somewhat….missing. even with a map I can get lost, thats how bad i am. Anyway,I had agreed the day before to interview Andrew Hackard at 10.30 and I just made it! as in, i was late, again classic Steven never seems to disappoint!

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What needs to be known is, I was super excited to meet him and theres was a few reasons why!  In regards to games, my first discovery of the wide variety of games was playing munchkin around 10 years ago! it was basically my infection vector into board games that now are a fun part of my life, because board games have created new friendships as well as maintained ones I’ve had for years. So I owe Steve Jackson Games a lot for that because They made a fantastic game that Andrew maintains to this day! Also, as we discussed in the podcast that andrew knows Wil Wheaton and has done for years and appeared on his board game show Tabletop which is awesome. So in a weird way, he is the catalyst to two things that influenced me to be involved in board games that I’m so happy I am a part of. Muchkin being the game that got me interested and tabletop for reinvigorating me to play games again. I played regularly at university and I owe tabletop for getting me re involved into board games after I left. I also owe wil for inpsiring me again to write by saying in an interview ‘no one told you you couldn’t and write what makes you laugh’ that made me realise I really wasn’t trying hard enough! if you haven’t seen tabletop heres the episode Andrew was in!

SAMSUNGI then sat in the major publishers seminar which was awesome, Sitting listening to mark, Andrew etc talk to about the gaming industry. A funny thing happened that they nicknamed me the guy with the beautiful hair which could only happen at a gaming convention that I am regarded as cool. but i enjoyed it all the same! I asked them if other industries can learn from how helpful you guys are to each other, which Larry Roznai from mayfair games  replied by saying ‘They would like to, but they wont’. Larry actually goes into detail about the board game industry and mayfairs position on the Geek Apocalypse podcast ,he was so unbelievably nice about it and gave me more than enough time to talk to him! which really was the case for everyone I met at uk expo! Seriously, no bribes involved they were super nice!

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As i said in part one of this blog, It sucked that I didnt have enough time to play more games throughout the expo, as after the seminar I spent the time interviewing for my podcast (which ofcourse i love so I’m not complaining!). I got some unbelievably brilliant guests though, after Andrew Hackard i spoke to Chris birch who I had been to his kickstarter seminar and gave me so much advice in regards to setting one up and was such a nice guy! his act of cthulhu stuff sounds great and a highly recommend you check his stuff out! Him and Angus who knew each other were incredibly nice ot me so it was great that they let me talk to them and again, really friendly and approachable! I then got a chance to speak to Petr Mormak who makes one of Newcastle Gamers (my board game club) favourite games Galaxy Trucker, and being from czech republic it was really fun geting his perspective on loads of different subjects! what amuses me is that really this podcast became a battle of the accents have a geordie host, an american and czech on the show! but if that doesnt show the influence worldwide that games has then I don’t know what does! I then talked to the governor  Mr Mayfair himself Larry Roznei who was a pleasure to talk to with his years of experience and being a ceo of such a huge gaming company!

SAMSUNGI then finally got the chance to play a game, i got asked to play a large version of the game ticket to ride! which is an awesome game so it gave me the opportunity to relax and kind of sit and absorb the event for the first time! and I really enjoyed it! although as I said in part one I continued my role of the nearly man by coming in second. damn randoms! I highly recommend though that if they are any families wanting a game to play that something like ticket to ride would be awesome! but it was fun playing with giant pieces and was a good way to end the event for me, as I really wanted to see if I could absorb the event before I left and I finally felt i did that. Uk expo was just a brilliant experience and i would totally do it again next year if i got the chance to do it because, these are my people! 🙂

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I have to end the blog on the best part of the convention for me, and I know  he will hate this if he does see this as I said it to him at the time, but Andrew Hackard made the expo for me. It wasn’t that I was a fan and that I loved the game he was a part

of, but I had half an hour to wait before my train and he sat with me and talked to me about loads of different things and signed my Munchkin apocalypse box. And that was so awesome! he didn’t have to do any of it and he gave me far more than I ever expected so huge thanks to him for making my day! I then left the expo, went to catch my train and the only thing I could think of, is watching tabletop to help me pass the time!

So I got home at 12 midnight on Sunday around 40 hours after I left, my back was hurting, I had barely slept, I smelled of convention and I had a multitude of editing to do! so would I change any of it?

not a chance! :):) heres to next year!

you can find Geek Apocalypse podcast part 1 and now  part 2 online at http://www.geekapocalypse.com/shows as well as itunes!

also I did an interview about Geek Apocalypse on our youtube channel, part one is online now:

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uk expo 2013! the bits you didn’t see or hear! part one

SAMSUNGI really do love board games so much. and no I don’t mean monopoly or anything like that, the inner industry, the amount of choice and diversity, its made me happy beyond measure every since I played Munchkin that was my infection vecture some 10 years ago! its a great way to meet people, to maintain and create friendships, and it would come as no surprise to hear I was so excited to go to uk expo 2013 this year! I was again doing my embarrassing nerd dance! (only my friend viv has been privileged to see it!) I will learn to control it at some point, but hey exciting times so i should get a pass right?

for those who don’t know about uk expo, it is a board game/RPG convention that is held every year in Birmingham England and for the first time this year at the NEC Hilton metropole which is awesome! I found out that the reason they upgraded was largely the superb support that The guys that run it got from Mayfair games and other sponsors of the event, which underlines how great the pioneers of this industry are. From the outset, everyone was professional,  approachable and the scale of what they achieved was fantastic! Excluding the fantastic independant designers and gamers that attended, they had such great companies like Mayfair games, Steve Jackson games, Fantasy Flight, Czech games, AEG etc who make or publish in my opinion some of the best games around. But also what I loved and do love about conventions, is the opportunity it creates for self publishers or designers to showcase their game. I talked to on the podcast and just by walking around chatting some great independant guys telling me that they would go to this convention every year and this year they are coming with a publisher for their game. It really is brilliant to hear that ultimately if you want something to happen enough and have the idea it can be achieved.

Anyway back to the beginning! after getting a train at 6.30 am in order to get to Birmingham on time (that’s commitment!) I arrived early in new street which was good as the expo started at 9.00! p.s heres a video of me at the train station at 6 in the morning in Newcastle! 

anyway I found as usual my sense of direction lacking…for starters i was in manchester! (just SAMSUNGkidding) but I was lucky enough to bump into Adam who was going to uk expo on the train! thanks Adam for helping and thank you uk expo for making very cool tags so I can recognise them otherwise …i may never of found it! so once i got into the event, the scale of it just blew me away. You know in family guy when lois griffin has that episode where she spends the time just jaw droppingly excited at everything? well that was me. I spent the first hour just wandering around completely in awe of the amount of people and above all friendly people that were attending the expo. The one slight disadvantage when going as media is you have so much to do and the time just disappears! I barely had time during trade hours to play any games at all! But if you were just attending the event as a fan, especially if your as big of a geek as me, it was literally paradise city! like the guns and roses song but i didn’t want to be taken home! (no seriously I would of stayed). just so much choice, and with tables around to try and play test games it really is a great place to encourage people( especially families) to simply try games! because they really are awesome!

so I got to my reserved table and introduced myself to Chris Bowler, who has given me the opportunity to join the UK gaming media pod cast network which I’m excited about! Really nice guy, I actually did some presenting for them which will end up on youtube in the next few days so please do look out for it-shameless plug! 🙂 the first thing SAMSUNGI did though at the expo is attend the seminar about kickstarter, which I was so pleased I managed to because I wanted to be able to get advice as i plan on using kickstarter for a web series we want to make! some great advice from some great game makers such as Angus Abranston and Chris Birch who both have had successes in that particular field so really good advisors! Angus has provisionally agreed to be on the podcast next week so please stay tuned on our site if you would like to hear more! or follow us on mr twitter land! @geek_apocalypse!

so after the trading area closed I went and found some friends and played a number of games,such as cloud nine and personally my favourite new game Augustus!  I was considering not bringing this part up on the blog but i thought to myself, Why don’t I underline how much of a nearly man I am in terms of winning games! I came second in every single game I played during the event including day 2 which will get to tommorrow, but the damn dice rolls! we played death angel I think where its cooperative and I just had to not roll a one! and I did! twice!  Really is harsh! but in seriousness, I had a great time! I really wanted to have more time to play games and in reality, as most of the guys I met throughout the weekend, its not about what games you paly and how you do, its simply that your playing it! but regardless of that, im still gutted 😛

2013-05-26 09.06.02so i ended the day by staying at jaszimes house that lived on the other edge of Birmingham! but this is the time where underline how stupid i am! (yes some will say i do that on many occasions) . The idea was that i got a train back to Birmingham new street and meet her at 11.30. what I didn’t realise was that the shopping centre that i went through during the day is attached to the arena and is then closed at a certain time…basically…before i thought. so it went from a simple 10 minute walk to having to go round the arena which is at least 5 times as long not taking a train! The genius that I am as wellSAMSUNG is I forgot to charge my phone so I couldn’t ring to explain the situation. so when occasionally get people saying to me I’m organised and clever, spend a decent amount of time with me, I’m far too easygoing that i never think too far ahead! i want to thank jaszmine for her patience and hospitality, she was brilliant and fun and it was nice chatting to her for all the brief time I had with her (which was my fault) you are welcome in Newcastle anytime!:) (picture is paper rock scissors bang by dave cousins! great game!)

the first day was great, as I said earlier my inquisitive brain sometimes really couldn’t handle the amount of games that was there, and if I could of spoken to everyone then I would have done! but I got to speak to Mark Wooten from AEG games, dave cousins from north and souths games, oliver sibthorpe the co creator of cube quest, lorraine finney from cognosis games, tom forfork from dog eared games on day one, and they were all fantastic! As I said earlier if I got the opportunity to talk to everyone I would have done but they were simply not enough time or indeed patience for that to be achieved! you can find part one of the podcast by the way online now at www.geekapocalypse.com/shows or on itunes! and part two will be online tommorrow!

next blog uk expo part 2! 🙂

ironman 3 trying to be too fast..too furious

To convey how much of a geek I am, It actually hurts writing this description and the title saying that Ironman 3 was a disappointment! I know geeks it hurts doesn’t it? it also bugs me to when I went to see fast and furious 6 (which was against my will to some degree, but it was cheap cinema night), that I figured out what I think iron man did wrong with the latest installment. again, I’m not dissing the fast and furious franchise, it does what it’s supposed to do, but as a geek ironman means  more to me, and I really didn’t enjoy it as I should of done and I’m trying to figure out why. ill admit downey junior is an attractive man, deal with it! you ever played the I would turn gay for game? well he would be up there, I’m just saying…….

So I go to see fast and furious a few days ago, and I like the rock, and I’ve liked Vin Diesal in pitch black which is in my DVD collection, and I have seen the first few installments of F and F. I told one of my best friend Scott that fast and furious to me is a lot like the need for speed video game franchise, i end up falling into the trap of buying it, but I always end up being disappointed. I do like cars, those who live in the uk will know that it is pretty much unavoidable with top gear a motoring show being very popular here. One of my favourite films is gone in 60 seconds, but I’m not that bothered by customising cars, never liked pimp my ride either for example. I think I like gone in 60 seconds because they steal the real cars, not ones with unnecessary graffiti and the biggest spoiler known to man! its a bit like any technology that glitters up something that doesn’t improve its function or purpose. I’m quite the practical  person…….in terms of suggesting, I cant practically make or create anything ,I just wanted to underline what i meant. If  you want something to break easily, I’m your guy!

anyway where was I? i know i said i wouldn’t diss fast and furious, but as i said earlier, I had only seen the first few fast and furious films, but you know what your going to see when people say to you ‘agh it don’t matter you’ll get it’. I mean It doesn’t have to be a complicated plot but come on! So we sit down and watch fast 6 and……… I liked it! Exactly what I expected but it was made well and it entertained me. Its abit like Wil Wheaton said he went to see piranha 3D and thought it did exactly what he needed it to do, regardless how good it was. So I get why sometimes you don’t need to have to watch a vastly complicated thing and just want to half switch off and enjoy it. Kinda like the board game muchkin, screw roleplay and character development lets just kill everything, or in the case of fast and furious blow shit up. So in that sense it did achieve what it set out to do, and the friends I went with say it was the best fast and the furious, it certainly was from the ones I have seen. remember when it was direct to dvd? exactly!

It was funny though, because as I walked out of the cinema having seen the film, Scott turns to me and says ‘you know, I did enjoy that much more than Ironman’ , and he literally read my mind. I found myself disappointed for the exact same reasons, but just to clarify, I really am one of the annoying people that analyses films far more than actually enjoying it, that how much of a geek i am. Don’t get me wrong I love being a Geek more than anything, but sometimes even I get annoyed at myself for being so curious I stop enjoying things. I sometimes go ‘just fucking enjoy it man!’ it only ever goes badly when I accidently say that outloud….

Anyway, I realised walking out why ironman didn’t work this time round, regardless of how much I love the avengers. And I do love avengers, Tony Stark was always my favourite because I always thought…if I get money I can totally be like him’ which is always how you think when your like 6 years old! ‘yeah i can totally do that, getting unlimited resources and be a brilliant engineer! that’s no trouble at all!’ Hey, if we didn’t have dream where would we be? exactly! But regardless of that, the mistake marvel and Shane Black i think made was it became too much like the films we see too much of recently. High Action and flair but the story telling aspect of comic books I felt was lost in ironman 3. I liked the humour, but the actual situation that they were in , holding the world ransom with killer human bombs, never felt real. theres one particular scene which i felt nearly ruined it for me, where something happens which you think, ‘Tony would be devastated here’ but he just isn’t. Right after there is a funny bit involving his suit, and my reaction was ‘ that ruins the whole reason for having the final fight scene in the docks’. Thats because the plot is based on Tony’s reason for going, and when it does happen, Tony doesn’t seem to care? to me that doesn’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, It was polished, well made, but my point is what big budget film is not made well, with the special effects being as good as they are? they made terminator salvation watchable for example, that’s how good CGI can be these days! And I think ultimately that was what made it disappointing for me, I never felt involved enough in the story, and as lacking in plot the fast and furious was, it was much more involving simply because the characters didn’t mess with laughing at the plot when they were setting it. And that’s not knocking fast and furious, just in a simple sense they treated it seriously because they had to make some sort of a plot to have an excuse to make the film in the first place.  iroman has the luxury of having years of history behind it which means people like me will go and see it regardless of how good the film is.

My worry with all this special effects, as good as it is, that even with the great marvel universe that I love, that they are losing the focus on what makes stories interesting and create the experience you want when watching a film like this.  This is the problem when something gets so successful that people that make the decisions the higher it gets up the ladder don’t care as much about what film they are making story wise. Having just looked at the numbers ironman 3 has made over a billion dollars which makes it in the top ten of most successful films ever made. But that’s exactly it, you don’t have to care, or at least studios don’t have to, but it would be so nice that they try, because at the end of the day, your not meant to leave the cinema feeling disappointed, but i sadly feel that i may be in a minority based on the amount that went to see it.

so marvel, I know you care, please push to make the story the heart of the film, and don’t be just another fast and the furious, because they do that better than anyone, therefore, your not being who I know you can be. I’m sure now that I’ve said that ,Stan will be taking notes!

you welcome!

next blog will be  uk expo! 🙂 check the event out here!

my thoughts on the new star trek by Wayne madden

There comes a time in your life when you say or do something that just isn’t that popular. Sometimes it’s because you believe in the truth, other times it’s because you know that a protest must be made against an injustice, whereas on rare occasions you just can’t get over something and feel it needs to be said. Unfortunately, readers, this is one of the latter occasions.

I’ll make no bones about it. I hate the new Star Trek Universe. When David Tennant left Doctor Who it took me a few months to get used to Matt Smith, truth be told I wasn’t too fond of Karen Gillian either, so her departure last year made things easier – but now I come to treat Mr Smith as quite the successor to Mr Tennant and fitting to handle the Doctor’s trusty screwdriver. But Star Trek? No. I can’t

I was in a cinema when I first heard that JJ Abram’s was going to restart the Star Trek franchise, and although I’d heard rumours about a new film before then (including some mumblings about using the cast of Enterprise for the film Star Trek Beginnings) I hadn’t seen anything visualised for me. The trailer looked intriguing, but the release date was almost a year away, so I waited to reserve judgement.

I suppose I should just tell you the reason I don’t like the new films so much, right? Well in 2002 I was 17 and went with my mother (biggest Trekkie I know) to see Star Trek Nemesis. I’d been seeing Star Trek films at the cinema since Undiscovered Country (I would have been 6) and the proceeding 5 films had severed as light Sunday entertainment on at least several occasions of the entwining years. That scene where Kirk, Spock and McCoy sit around the camp fire and try singing songs brings a warm glow to my heart.

In any case, Nemesis had a script (from a story developed by Star Trek actor Brent Spiner) which was treated as a commercial failure. I think, personally, that the film was released at the wrong time upon the US box office (it opened in mid-December as opposed to Thanksgiving, the traditional release time for Star Trek films stateside) and it was a thin plot which could have been bulked out better. Coupled to the fact it’s director must have never watched an episode of Star Trek in his life (as supported by the movies actors) it’s also fairly evident that Nemesis failed by killing Spiner’s own Commander Data, despite the sacrifice of his death, the move to remove the popular character just served to infuriate fans more. I was also always secretly pissed that Commander Madden (Riker’s replacement) was only introduced in Deleted Scenes, played by Stephen Culp.

But it wasn’t the only thing to blame for the franchise prelaunch, despite me being a huge fan of Scott Bakula from his Quantum Leap adventures, it seems he just couldn’t capture the nation as Jonathan Archer – Enterprise became the first Star Trek series to find itself cancelled before the end of natural production. Fans revolted at the final episode of this series, going so far as to remove several parts of it from pirated copies and abridging it, but then Star Trek Voyager finished its production naturally and there was a lot said about their final episode too.

FYI, if you’re still pissed with Voyager, check out the PC game Elite Force 2 which serves as a cannon explanation of what happened once Voyager got home.

While I won’t condemn everything about the new Star Trek films (Karl Urban, who played Judge Dredd, was fantastic as Leonard McCoy) I think the biggest problem I have is the Alternative Universe theory which forms the basis for the film. It’s no secret by now that everything in Star Trek JJ Style is an alternative universe to that which William Shatner inhabited – New Vulcan being a prime example. I used to be pissed off too that William Shatner wasn’t in the Abram’s movie (at least in a cameo) until I heard that Shatner actually refused the cameo role on the basis that he wanted a bigger part. Of course, this is the same man who included a horse riding scene in Generations, purely so they’d shoot at his ranch and use his horses! At least Wil Wheaton was humble enough for his voice cameo.

But when it comes down to it, Abram’s films just don’t do anything for me, I can’t get over the fact that Shatner isn’t there (despite what a prat he is) and that Picard hasn’t given his famous orders (Engage or Make It So, all the same to me). Quite frankly it’s just part of me that wants to know what happened to the Enterprise crew, even if Riker was Captain of the Titan and Data was dead and Worf “wasn’t a cat person”, and a little part of me will always be happier watching Star Trek Phase 2 and Star Trek of Gods and Men then it will be catching the latest flick. I mean who doesn’t prefer First Contact or the Undiscovered Country?

Of course, I may share the common belief that it’s even numbered Trek films that are of higher quality, making this new film one to watch. But personally I think that’s just rubbish, the actor who said it anyway was Simon Pegg; who uttered it during his TV series Spaced – later himself performing the role of “Scotty” in Abram’s odd numbered Star Trek reboot.

When Star Trek 2 opens on May 8th at cinemas across the UK, you might find me sitting next to you, taking notes for my next blog – best advice is to leave me be. Live long and prosper.

Geek Apocalypse talks to creators of The Realm!

We recently got the opportunity to have a sit down interview with the guys behind the realm video game! Made here in Newcastle! please do donate and help them out! 🙂
1)thankyou so much for agreeing to talk to Geek Apocalypse! The first question seems obvious to us in what made you guys decide to get together to make The Realm?
We all used to work together at a company called Computer Artworks on a horror game called The Thing. It became a number one hit game, but unfortunately the studio closed later. We’ve been trying to find a way to work together ever since and now this opportunity came up we had to take it!
 
2) for those that dont know ,what is the realm about?
The Realm is an evolution of the graphic adventure game. It’s set in a far distant future when nature has reclaimed the earth and myth and magic is on the rise once more. A young girl Sarina has to go on a desperate quest to find a cure to save her sick mother. On her way she comes across Toru a mythical stone golem and together they go on this amazing adventure.
 
3) We hear at GA are massive fans of the point and click genre, such as monkey island and broken sword! did they influence you and if so how?
We love all the early point & click adventures like Monkey Island, Beneath a Steel Sky and those were definitely the inspiration of our game. However we felt that we could update this genre for modern gamers. So we’ve changed things up a little, we’re focussing less on pixel-hunting and obscure inventory puzzles and more on asymmetrical character gameplay, contextual menus and environmental puzzles. 
4)Graphics wise this game looks amazing, truly beautiful! what was your thought process in regards to making this such a vastly beautiful dynamic world?
Thank-you. Atomhawk is one of the leading art design studios and have been working on many triple A games. The world is inspired by the countryside in the north east of England where Atomhawk are based. We have taken local places and then re-imagined them in this future world where nature has gone wild – twisting vines and strange plants engulf the old buildings. What lurks inside?
5) One of our criticisms of some point and click games is the lack of character depth and emotional depth, is this something the Realm will be focusing on?
Definitely. The relationship between Sarina and Toru is absolutely at the center of this game. Storytelling is all about characters and that is what binds us emotionally to the game. In our game the relationship is not just a cosmetic feature but also intrinsic to the game-play, so the player will need to think about their actions and the consequences it has on the different characters.
6) we like the idea that you guys picked a female character Sarina as lead, was was your decision behind it?
We have worked on many big console games that feature large muscly men wielding even larger guns. We wanted to do something different, something people will remember – we are not interested in duplicating what’s just gone before. Also Ron (our creative director) is also a father to a young girl and so I think he was inspired by that!
7) We are huge fans of kickstarter, having talked to many game makers that use it, from your perspective, why pick kickstarter?
 
Kickstarter allows us to connect directly to our audience and also it allows us to make the game we want to make. If you go to a publisher and say we want to make a game with a girl, its an adventure game and its a premium title – they look at you strangely, its just too high risk for them. Kickstarter allows creative projects a new platform for finding funding – its great. Hard work but great.
 
8) your back catalogue of games you have worked on is amazing, including mortal kombat, DmC, and enslaved to name a few, what drives you as developers to now work on your own independant project?
Much of what I said before. If you are a creative person you want to work on projects that excite you. We all really believe in this game and we know how great it is going to be! Thats why we invest so much into it.
9) what is your opinion on the current state of the video game industry? in regards to major publishers vs independent ones like yourself?
The industry is very much in flux. We have an end of console cycle coming up. No one knows if the next generation of consoles are going to be successful. The mobile market has opened up the doors to indie game developers but everyone is drowning in content and no-one knows how to get their game noticed. Its really hard. There are opportunities but you have to fight tooth and nail! Who knows what will come next?
9) finally, wed really like to see this game made, so if people would like to donate to this project, how can they do that?
Thank-you. They can visit our Kickstarter here and make a pledge! http://kck.st/XZlFdU
 thankyou for taking to us!
Thankyou!!

at red dwarf convention dimension jump 2013, why I give a smeg part 2


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Hello peeps welcome to part two of my weekend at convention! as part 1 was a general overlay of why I love red dwarf before I went heres the blog about the day itself! 🙂

I suppose the first place to start would be to genuinely convey how committed Viv and I were to get to Birmingham for the convention on time (I know such a hard life). In order to make sure we got there to see Tony Hawks Q and A was to set off around 5am from Gateshead in IMAG3540order to try and reach Birmingham city centre holiday inn for around 8.30/9ish. With my sense of direction it really wasn’t going to be a problem.  After missing the turnoff, going to the wrong town and nearly head out of Birmingham by mistake, we arrived after me being nowhere close to useful around 10.30. (I’m one of them people that can literally get lost in my own house, it really is an gift!)

Now, I’m sure Viv will back me up on this, but as we got to the front door of the hotel, I literally did a nerd dance, I couldn’t hold in the buzz of being able to do this! As I said in part one, red dwarf means a lot to me and i was like a kid in a candy store. This is why its great being a geek, to enjoy and be allowed to show how much you like and enjoy something, because it really does mean something, and it always nice to be able to enjoy something you like rather than entering the wave of negativity that many end up being in. We got our tickets from the lovely jo (ill be thanking her later in this blog) and headed into the main room, and there we were, all the dwarfers watching Tony hawkes film playing the Moldovans at tennis (which is well worth seeing!). I got a chance to speak to Tony (man he is tall! The first thing I noticed!) before he went on and agreed to talk after his Q and A which was excellent. I was shocked to find that it was Tony’s first convention, considering that he was most prominent in the early series but I’ve always liked him, especially the ollies and the 920 turns he can do.

IMAG3520Ok I’m playing with the misidentity that comedian Tony Hawkes gets with the skateboarder, but I thought I’d get it out of the way now as its IMAG3525obviously hanging over us (well it was me anyway). After his really fun Q and A I was taken to the green room where all the guys were, minus Robert and Chris who were arriving later. I got introduced to Hattie Hayridge and John Lenahan and we decided to do the interview all together! I really thought I’d offended Hattie when I asked her ,but once I told her about wanting to talk to her about Craig Ferguson we were suddenly on good terms. maybe its my geekiness, because I occasionally just feel like I’m annoying people and turns out I haven’t been ,but either way it ended up great as we got all of them to be on the podcast. We went down to the merchandise room and I have to say this now that the red dwarf fan club could not have been more brilliant in terms of access. Also, and I said this on the podcast, that I was with three professional stand up comedians! now I regard myself as being able to be slightly funny occasionally leaning in towards good, but I had no fucking chance here! And seriously the best podcasts I do are the ones sadly where I hardly say anything. The advantages are that they knew each other so they literally interviewed themselves! if you don’t believe me have a look at the video!

We then as often happens in conventions find unexpected nice people to interview, A sci fi writer named Ruth Wheeler. She gained my respect instantly by sitting at a table plugging her book all day every day! really it underlines if you want something and believe in it strong enough it can happen! As we mentioned to each other we shared some similarities in that regard, trying to find the audience that is out there by going to where our people hangout! She’s a really cool person and her books sounded amazing,if I wasn’t pumping all my money setting this up I would of bought her books instantly! We also recorded video for this interview and I will point out now, yes I made a mistake she wasn’t a red dwarf novel writer, I was too excited!

I want to then use this moment to explain how awesome Viv Wiggins is! We then went to have lunch and bought a chicken curry at the slowest Chinese takeaway place ever. I think they were literally chasing the chicken outside for half an hour while I stood there with my laptop and my bag on my back going this is fun. But I tolerated it because of Viv, I really tried and I hope I succeeded in making sure Viv was ok, and if she ever got annoyed she never showed it because she seemed so patient throughout the whole day! the fact that we did roughly a 20 hour day and she didn’t want to kill me was amazing! I say that because I know many who can’t live with my enthusiasm (I literally could of carried on another day like nothing happened) and I hope she enjoyed it as much as she could of done. Without her this never would of been possible by being a friend and she literally will have to live with me coming up to her and going ‘your the reason I got to go to something I never went to that I cared about’ so again, I hope I don’t annoy her with my genuine affection! so thanks Viv your awesome! 🙂

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we then got to do the photo shoot where we got our photo taken 🙂 which was amazing, virtually every guest minus Tony who if you watch the video we did literally left as we finished the interview! So it wasn’t set up as a few have suggested to me! Its funny, I IMAG3541have occasionally met people that I have been starstruck in the past, but my current theory seems to be that it all depends how they treat you that determines how starstruck you are. When I met Paul Merton for example, he was in a hurry so in a way it meant more that he talked to me for a couple of minutes, whereas I was in the same room with the red dwarf for a decent amount of time and they were extremely nice!IMAG3542

then the moment I was hoping for arrived! We got a chance to talk to Robert and Chris and they gave us roughly 8 minutes for each while they turned the tables round for autographs! It was great and the microphone did not become my friend during Chris Barrie’s interview, evil evil microphone! but both Robert and Chris were exactly what I hoped for, kind, interesting and understanding, so it was such a pleasure. What needs to be underlined, I grew up watching these guys, it would be like sooty ending up being a serial killer if they were not nice to me. So it really made the day extra special that I got to talk to them, and Robert was near us so I got to speak to him a little bit more after and I swear I have not been paid into saying they were nice to everyone there. They also talked to me about series 11 so have a look!

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We then got the chance to speak to some really nice dwarfers, particular meantion to Sarah and Craig who we played one round of  Love letters with (my next table game apocalypse episode features that great game!). kudos to them having to wait in the queue for so long to get their autogpraphs! They also sad they are going to uk expo this year which is awesome as we are!

I will also reveal on this blog that danny john jules walked in towards the end of the session and i tried to organise getting five minutes with him. I’m actually still not sure it wasn’t just me hallucinating that he was there, a kind of wish is father of the thought type scenario. but hey, next year its on!

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finally we got the opportunity to talk to Bill Pearson and Steve Howarth, who did some of the models and designs for Red Dwarf X! they were awesome, some of the work that bill has worked on is stunning! He worked on the nostromo in the original Alien with Ridley Scott, and did Flash Gordon and Crystal Maze, Battlefield Earth (the design was good the film was shit) and loads more. I could of talked to them forever..and they invited me to shepperton studios!  🙂 so if I can make that happen then it will happen! you can listen to the full audio of this interview and every interview on the podcast IMAG3550here

www.geekapocalypse.com/shows

we then said our goodbyes to Jo and Jez and everyone we could from the red dwarf fan club who organised the event. I can’t tell you how fun and awesome they are for letting us do what we did at dimension jump. The access, the generosity, the kindness, I feel so grateful that I am part of this community that is bonded by loving such an awesome show. Thankyou to jo for setting this all up and being aweosme, and fez for being nice and making things happen on the day, he had no reason to be so helpful and awesome so thanks to him. And everyone that organised the convention, it was brilliant and Viv and I had a great time!

if i gotten no interviews, I still would of enjoyed it, cos when it comes down to it…..I’m a boy from the dwarf 🙂

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