John Tancredi ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
Gaming is a massive genre on YouTube. Felix Kjellberg, better known on YouTube as PewDiePie, holds strong as the most subscribed-to channel on the site. However, most gaming channels/shows tend to only include video games, even though outside of YouTube, non-digital gaming is a massive community. “Tabletop” or “board games” from Munchkin to Monopoly captivate audiences around the world. That’s where Wil Wheaton comes in. You might know him as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie from Stand by Me, or even just from his twitter account, @wilw.
A few years ago, actress, writer, and geek-goddess Felicia Day started a premium YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry, which included a web series titled “Tabletop,” which is hosted by Day’s friend Wil Wheaton. The show features Wheaton playing Tabletop games with various celebrities, game designers, and anyone else Wheaton invited. The show soon became a massive success, getting enough recognition to last through the present day.
Through the show’s lifespan, the fans have had only one major complaint: “Tabletop” only featured relatively short form games, while longer games like Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) fell by the wayside. This makes sense, considering the show’s short length. A DnD campaign can last hours.
In order to fund the latest season of Tabletop, Wheaton hit up crowdfunding site Indiegogo. His initial funding goal was annihilated. In terms of crowdfunding campaigns, what does that mean? Stretch goals. One of Tabletop’s stretch goals was to make a second Tabletop series devoted to a long form role-playing games (RPGs). With the support of the fans, an RPG show will soon become a reality.
Wheaton recently posted a video to the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel updating fans on the production of the Tabletop RPG show. We now know that the guests joining Wheaton on the RPG will be Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers and Alison Haislip from G4’s Attack of the Show, as well as voice actor Yuri Lowenthal and actress Laura Bailey. As Wheaton says, they needed to cast people who were experienced RPG players and comfortable improvising. Additionally, they are all personal friends of Wheaton.
Now, you may be wondering how the game will be played. Luckily, we have been provided that information. Wheaton wanted to use a less popular game engine, but one that would be familiar enough and fun enough to play. In searching for an engine Wheaton decided that the engine from the Dragon Age Tabletop RPG was what he wanted for the show, but he wasn’t about to just play the Dagon Age RPG. Instead, he contacted the company that made the game and asked them to genericize it. They obliged, and thus came the fantasy adventure game engine. Using this game engine, Wheaton and his team of Writers have created a game world titled Titansgrave: the Ashes of Valkana which combines both fantasy and science fiction elements. The show is currently filming and is due out on June 2, 2015.
To watch the announcement video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Er6gDch9Lc