Geek Space TV

You probably know about Geek & Sundry, and might know about Hyper RPG, but have you checked out Geek Space TV [also]?

G&S was started by Felicia Day, and friends, and is known for many things, not the least of which is Critical Role, now owned by Legendary, and part of Project Alpha. This channel really has broken down a lot of doors which opened the way for many who are live streaming more than just videogames, with shows like Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop and others, really proving that there was both need and space for such things.

Hyper RPG is a channel that was created by Jordan Weisman, of Shadowrun and Battletech and Harebrained Schemes, and Zac Eubank who was the former showrunner of Geek and Sundry’s Twitch channel. Zac left G&S and helped create a new, scrappier channel dedicated to audience interaction with their live streaming tabletop games and shows. They’ve done a lot of shows, and there have been familiar faces from G&S. HyperRPG is the channel where Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins and friends have been creating the Acquisitions Inc C-Team actual play show. Recently they also started a show Power Rangers HyperForce. They’re still scrappy and trying to make ends meet, but they’ve got a lot of frenetic energy going for them and have done a lot of interesting shows.

One show you might know about was the Shadowrun: Corporate S.I.N.S actual play series. One part of that show’s audience interaction was a meta-game for corporations, run by teams of viewers, to battle and struggle with each other, as well as create missions and benefits for the players in the series. Anna Cail helped to run that meta-game.

Geek Space TV is a new non-profit Internet broadcast studio started by Anna Cail and friends, new and familiar.

Our goal is to make an inclusive and welcoming channel that works within gaming and geek spaces to promote inclusivity and diversity while keeping you entertained by the genuine geeky passions of our cast members in areas such as tabletop RPGs, VR, and many others.

One of the shows is Leviathan: Distant Stars, which is a Stars Without Numbers RPG actual play series, with Lauren Bond and many of the people you may recognize from the Shadowrun series that ran on Hyper RPG. I’ve been keeping up with this show and it is pretty entertaining. Everyone does a great job, but a standout for me has been the great roleplaying by Claudia of the character Kika, a space bat with strange and synesthetic ways of thinking and doing that end up being darned hilarious. That’s not to slight the rest of the cast, who are doing some good and funny work as well. I’m also hoping that the faction system of Stars Without Number turns into a meta-game that includes viewers, but that hasn’t happened yet. It’s something that seems like it would fit both the series and the lineage really well.

I was hanging out in Anna Cail’s stream the other day and she was talking about how tight money is for Geek Space and some of the struggle that is going on to keep it going.

As an aside, I was also hanging out in the Hyper RPG channel as Zac toured the floor of PAX Unplugged 2017, and he was talking about how small they are, how money is very tight for them, and some of the same issues about trying to keep things going.

The struggle is real, but everyone involved in Geek Space TV, from Anna through the cast of Leviathan, seem much happier than they were before. These seem like good people trying to do good things, you should consider checking them out, and support them with your viewership and donations.

Inquest

I’m a little late to the game, but I just watched the final episode of the first season, s01e13: Inquest, of Shield of Tomorrow, the Star Trek live-streamed roleplaying series, on Geek & Sundry Twitch or more exclusively on the private platform Project Alpha, using the new Star Trek Adventures RPG rules from Modiphius. I haven’t been able to catch it, it streamed after I was usually already asleep, the VODs are subscriber only, and if I notice that it’s being re-streamed I haven’t wanted to just jump in the middle … but, this was the final episode of the season, and I watched it.

Now, that’s some damned fine Star Trek. I mean, I realize that was the final episode for the season and so it wrapped up a lot from previous episodes, but that was intense and emotional. Damned near equivalent to some of the best broadcast Star Trek episodes I’ve watched. There was emotion, drama, and intrigue; there were callback to other movies and series; and a final surprise denouement full of hope for the future.

The emotional investment of players like Amy Dallen in the life of an organism encountered was on par with the best of Voyager in the episode Tuvix, which is the first and so far only episode of Star Trek that prompted me to write to congratulate cast and crew on an amazing job, just to put that into perspective. The drama and intrigue of the interaction with Starfleet Intelligence, and the effect on players like Hector Navarro, was on par with the best of Deep Space Nine in episodes featuring Section 31 or focused on Garak’s espionage and secrets. Furthermore, the ability to weave into the story elements from the movies and broadcast series created some fantastic business and dialogue for the players, and that’s something the best of episodes like Deep Space Nine’s Trials and Tribble-ations prove is a compelling experience for the audience and cast.

Seriously, Inquest made me remember how excellent Star Trek can really be when it reaches for those huge allegorical dilemmas in the human experience and while showing the emotional toll and toil those experiences place on those going through them. I appreciate the work done by the entire cast of players and the game master Eric Collin Campbell, as well as the crew on the shoot, for a job well damned done.

With season two tonight, as it moves to Monday nights, at an earlier 7pm PDT time slot, I may just have to stay up late to go with these fine people on their continuing voyages, and catch up on the rest when I can.