Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Addendum to Mail of the Manticore


Listening back, I realize that I didn’t fully answer all the questions that I selected on this latest bonus material.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing – I wanted to keep the episode fairly brief – but now the completionist in me demands justice.  Here’s what I neglected to include:

On contributing a voice: this answer was more or less complete, though I wanted to clarify what I meant by a potential contributor having the ‘right accent’.  By ‘right’, I just meant ‘consistent with other characters from that part of the world’.  Dwarves tend to have North American Accents, as do Zaceans and Camortinians who live in the country.  Upper class Camortinians and those who live in the capitol city of Cylmorril have British accents.  Some Kamranthians have a Spanish accent, Sachoriis have a bit of French.  Everyone from Koth has an Australian accent.  The goal here is just to maximize verisimilitude and not ‘take people out’ of the story wherever it could be helped.  There are exceptions to this ‘rule’ – but they all occurred because I didn’t have a wide enough selection of talent to organize things perfectly.

On Dwarven Culture: Oops, I completely forgot to talk about anything other than names here.  I did take some inspiration from the political climate in North America (at the time of writing) but TOTM is not an allegory.   I just wanted competing factions, with some dwarves being conservative isolationists and others being liberal free-traders.  I realized early on that the cliché of dwarves living up in mountains, completely cut off from the outside would be very tough to make realistic if trading with outsiders was avoided (where would they get wood, barley, etc ?) and so I came up with the idea of hill dwarves providing a supply of agricultural products.  That also introduced dwarves to Burke, and eventually to the main story.  A great deal of what happens in game is just a logical consequence of some solution-to-a-problem.  As for all the rest, most of it is just made up on the spot.  I try to stay true to classic fantasy tropes while not being cartoonish.  Whenever things feel too simple, I try to add some dirt, some ugliness, or some weirdness.

On parts of the process that are ‘work’ & that I don’t enjoy so much:  Well, most of it is fun.  Editing voice is just work, however.  I ‘scrub’ my audio to delete empty air, fix whistling S’s & plosive P’s.  I trim down silences to keep things moving.  Doing it as I go makes it feel less onerous, but, yeah, this part isn’t super fun.  The only other part that isn’t always fun is that soliciting ads and even voices can sometimes be difficult. Often I’m left waiting for a file for weeks – sometimes as much as a month – before I receive it.  This causes problems with meeting my own ‘release every 10 days’ goal, and forces me to be much further ahead in the game than the published episodes.  Usually I keep a 6-8 episode buffer for this reason.  That way, while I’m waiting for folks to send me their files, I can still be working and tinkering on other episodes.  For those ad partners and voice actors that are quick with a turnaround (some can do it in just a week or two), I hope you know how grateful I am!

OK, I think I'm satisfied with those additions to the mailbag answers.  Thanks so much for your questions; thanks for listening & for supporting the show.  If there are any questions that I didn't answer, just shoot me an email at taleofthemanticore@gmail.com, or ask me in the comments right here.

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