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Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Early Access

An Apology to Stephen Buonocore and the Stronghold Games Team

Stephen Buonocore Stronghold Games Origins 2017Although I love to kid around, and usually come across as a good natured goof in much of our TGG media, I always point out that I take my dealings with the public and people in the industries we cover very seriously. Even on a fairly nonexistent budget, I still do my best to present a website with content (articles, reviews, videos, etc…) which looks as professional as possible. So it really frosts my butt when something goes wrong; even more so when it’s my fault.

A perfect example is my 2017 Origins Game Fair interview with Stephen Buonocore that we shot late on the Saturday of the con. I tend to work on convention videos in the order in which they were shot (I feel it makes for a nice mix of bigger and smaller companies sharing an equal billing) so I didn’t realize there was a problem with the raw Stronghold Games video until a couple of days ago. Well… not with the video per say but the audio.

You see I don’t own a camera with a microphone input so I record the audio separate and overlay it during the video editing. Most viewers would never guess this is how I build the videos since I’ve gotten pretty damn good at syncing up the sound. Somehow the audio of Stephen and I talking is completely washed out by the exhibitor hall crowd noise so you can hardly make out anything we say. I’m at an utter loss as to what the problem was since, outside of a few moments in my first Origins interview where my mic wasn’t on – Doh!, ten previous recordings sounded great. Strangely enough, the audio sound level is fine (it’s not at if the mic is off) but the ambient crowd noise is stunningly loud. Unfortunately, the raw video’s audio is worse than the recording since the camera was too far away and also records in 5.1 so that feed is ALL just crowd noise.

After spending two days using Adobe Audition to try and manipulate the both audio files, I now have thrown my hands up in defeat.

It stinks because this interview was the first I’d done with Stephen in a couple of years; I tend to say hi and chat with Stephen at all the conventions but lately haven’t been able to get on the same page with him at the past few. This was a fun interview with some good humored ribbing of each other, as tends to be the case, with some solid chuckles. Stephen’s voice was even a bit shot (yours would be too at the end of the third day on the exhibitor’s floor) but he soldiered on like a real pro talking about all the great new Stronghold releases.

As if I don’t already feel bad enough about not being able to share the Stronghold video, the fact Stephen gave me a review copy of Terraforming Mars adds to the misery. After the interview Stephen asked me if there was anything I’d like to review. I’m not the sort of person who would say “Everything!” even with all the cool new Stronghold games that hit Origins, but I mentioned I’d love to see Terraforming Mars; I’d heard excellent things about the game but never played it or had even seen it close up. Obviously, Stephen doesn’t need the extra exposure from TGG; the game has sold truckloads of copies and scored award nominations galore without our help. Yet it shows you the sort of guy Stephen is because his response to my request was “Sure,” as he handed me a copy.

Some folks might be reading this and thinking, “Okay Jeff. So you messed up and a con video didn’t get posted. I’m not sure why you’re writing about it since we wouldn’t even know about the screw up without you mentioning it.” True… but I keep things here at The Gaming Gang pretty transparent and, if I fumble the ball, I step up and take responsibility. I also don’t want anyone to mistakenly have the impression that somehow I don’t like Stephen Buonocore or Stronghold Games. Granted, visitors haven’t seen tons of Stronghold reviews here the past few years but that’s mainly due to the fact that when Elliott Miller was part of TGG he handled just about all of the Stronghold reviews. I’m also not the sort of person who hammers companies for review copies; at this point there are so many people covering table top games (and looking to break in) a company would easily go through half a print run if they sent out free copies to all the “press” out there.

Truth be told, Stephen Buonocore is one of my favorite people in the game industry. I always tease him when I see him simply because I do like him and, I’m fairly certain, he teases me back because he thinks I’m sort of an okay dude too. I’m really happy to see how far Stronghold Games has come since the day Elliott and I sat down with Stephen to interview him about the reprint of Survive: Escape from Atlantis.

I’ll be doing my best to make up for this video snafu. In fact readers may have caught the news released earlier today that Elliott and I are teaming up again for a new gaming podcast. Stephen was the first person we broke this news to at Origins last weekend and we invited him on as our first guest.

So once again an apology to Stephen and the Stronghold gang for the interview screw up. As crappy as this is it surely pales in comparison to the great 2015 Comic-Con debacle when my cameraman showed up in San Diego without …a camera!

Jeff McAleer

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1 Comment

  1. Yet another reason I enjoy the Gaming Gang, these guys always strike me as good people. I’m sure Jeff didn’t have to publicly point out the problem with the video but wanted readers to know there was a great video with Stephen Buonocore and it got messed up. I bet it was funny!


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