Ep. #262: Mare Sheppard, Jim Guthrie, & Shaw-Han Liem

The overlap between independent gaming and independent music is one of the most fascinating cultural intersections I’ve come across in recent years. Both reflect somewhat subversive interests and have garnered large, loyal, fervent, and outspoken followings and are more often than not, spearheaded by some of the most inventive and clever minds of our time. Jim Guthrie and Shaw-Han Liem are each respected musicians who’ve appeared on this show before and they’ve found new fans through their soundtrack and scoring work for games. Mare Sheppard is the co-founder of Metanet Software, an indie game development company, likely best known for creating the popular game N. Here, Sheppard, Liem, and Guthrie and I discuss things like playing as many games as Mare could get her hands on, learning about programming, art and film, making a small company, human versus perfect, small teams and personal places, getting re-acquainted with games via Toronto’s indie game community, little Jim at the arcade and no quarter, really getting gaming culture as an art form, indie gaming versus mainstream gaming, incremental progress, minimalism, maximizing your resources, Shaw-Han’s work on Sound Shapes for PlayStation, working with Sony, no risk and more freedom, working with a major and working with an indie, what does the fan say, entitlement and rudeness, Jim on gaming and music audience differences, passion levels, too cool for school, smart and outspoken gamers, cultural and media shifts, very specific customer feedback, processing online hype and noise, Mare’s hopes for gaming’s future, an eerie conversation about guns recorded before the Orlando tragedy, Jim’s desire for gamers and devs and musicians to create larger and more interactive project teams, Shaw-Han’s interest in the sophisticated emerging gaming technology, generational shifts, N++ and experimentation, Shaw-Han’s interest in how a dev or gaming mentality might inform his work as a musician and inventor, instructive work as a creator, cashing in, Jim will be streaming a lot of online content, the games Below and XO, Jam Pants, fans are terrible, the song “I Don’t Wanna be a Rock Star,” and then it was Game Over.

Related links: metanetsoftware.com jimguthrie.org robotandproud.com vishkhanna.com

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