A while back I had the privilege of talking to a fellow podcaster in the meat space for too short of a time; Adam Hines, one half of The Guys with Pencils Podcast. Every week, he and his co-host Andrew Murray get creative types from Toronto (and beyond) to discuss the nerdy things in life and their trade. Some of their esteemed guests have been Miguel Sternberg creator of They Bleed Pixels, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes of Super Meat Boy and Henry and Jennie Faber creators of the awesome Bento Miso work space.
Adam is also an animator and has used his experiences to wrangle some of their amazing guests. I’d best describe him as a man who knows his craft but wants to hear how others do it themselves. Listening to Guys with Pencils each week continues to inspire me with guests that are all driven in their own way to succeed. Even with such a wide array of awesome people Adam and his cohort continually deliver commentary on their own and get the realest answers out of their guests. Adam isn’t just a smart guy but also aware what’s going on in the current climate of games. We got onto the current streak of misogyny in games and theorized that some people are just dicks and the anonymity of the internet only adds to that.
At one point Adam tells me he sometimes just looks at his wife and says “sorry” when those kinds of stories are in the news. Moving the topic to a more positive light, Adam talks about how The Sims are one of the few that include women without degrading them. This is due mostly because they don’t enter unrealistic body types into the equation. Also The Sims franchise are just really fun and procedural games.
We then get to the meat and potatoes of any good gaming conversation, we discuss Adam’s favorite game. It’s not surprisingly Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a classic and loved by most in the gaming world. Adam goes on to describe the reasons for his love of the game, his love stems from where he was in his life. He was a young kid living outside of Ottawa in a Rural town 20 minutes from the closest convince store. Not having a large friend group, Adam lost himself in a magical world that I’d say was transformative to him as a gamer.
He admits that the game if we went back to play it wouldn’t hold up to modern Zelda interpretations but that hardly matters, we all remember are first.
We talked more about childhood pastimes and Magic: the Gathering was brought up. Adam says he enjoyed it at first for the art and social aspect when he was younger but now as an adult he played the XBLA game and has fallen for the rule sets and game mechanics that Magic provides. This is the one point where you can see true enjoyment in Adams face as he smirks subtly whilst he recounts being tempted to buy real life magic cards.
I ask Adam about what comics have caught his interest and he emphatically brought up Invincible, a super hero story written by the creator of the walking dead. The book follows the rise of a superhero but with real life consequences and if a character is dead they stay dead. It’s a far cry from the revolving door for dead characters that both Marvel and DC employ so readily.
We then bemoan recent movie going experiences as they are bogged down by Ad’s, iphone games, Ad’s, tedious intros and more Ad’s. Then we finish off our lovely conversation by both agreeing that Saints Row the third is the dumbest smart game ever to exist
PS – I interviewed Adam and his crew awhile back during Tojam 7, check it out.