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The Future Proof Podcast 036

Podcast episode

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is our bi-monthly podcast where we chat about stuff we're working on and anything cool we're planning. I'm Melissa.

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:32  
And I'm Gregory. And we had a little fun event recently to help with our, our development. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:43  
Yeah, so we did what I guess kind of counts as a mini retreat or a little jam or something like that. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:52  
Just the two of us.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:53  
Just the two of us, yes. You know, not a big thing. We basically picked a synchronous time for us to work together, we took an afternoon, cleared the calendar, you know. Said no, no social events, no sitting around on Twitter, or whatever. And let's put our heads together and, you know, rap out any ideas that we've kind of been stuck on which I had been stuck on the story planning for the final "Headless Swarm" story.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:23  
I had been kind of struggling with some graphics that I was doing for EZD.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:30  
Yeah, and we, we do a lot of our work separately and independently, and then kind of come together once or twice a week for, you know, sprint planning and things like that. And so this was—

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:38  
That's often just, just like, via Slack. Like it's a video call and not a,  not an in-person meeting.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:47  
Exactly. We used to—pre-pandemic—we used to do weekend retreats, one or two times a year. I think, generally once a year, where we were would—

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:00  
Talking, low, low scale, don't imagine anything swank.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:04  
No, no, this is like even staying local to where we live, and just getting a hotel room for the weekend. And working there. And I mean, we've done a lot of design work that way. A lot of sort of, you know, fundamental work that just goes so much more smoothly in person and at the same time. So.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:28  
One of those things where you can both have a conversation about it just face to face and be able to see each other's feelings and so on. And then like, pause and do something else for 15 minutes, and then be like, "Hey, wait a second, what about this and this and this and..." That, that sort of synchronous working is very handy to do, especially because I've been kind of feeling a little, a little disconnected and out of sync with, with our work on that sort of thing lately. And so it was nice to have a sort of refresh.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:59  
Yeah, definitely. And one of the... I guess I'll, I guess I'll share this: one of the sorts of problems that we have run into in the past with Exploit: Zero Day writing, is that one of us will plan the story, like, I flowchart it out—or worse, just start writing—and then get quite a bit done, and then start to talk about it. And then the other person goes, "Oh, but wait, I thought we were doing XYZ."

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:33  
Yeah. Which, which is generally like it's okay if, if like one of us takes ownership of a thing, right? But sometimes it can cause things where it's like, "Oh, this and this and this." And the other person's like, "Oh, well, two years ago, I wrote this bit of thing, and I remember writing it. And I think that you maybe only read it once, but it actually means that that doesn't make sense in the plotline and stuff like that."

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:55  

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:55  
We're actually doing a little bit of revision of old story just to make things work.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:01  
Yeah. So I find it, just personally, very, very frustrating if I sling words, specifically, like development of many other things I have—

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:16  
To throw away a sentence is is a painful thing.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:20  
So, so I did a lot of flowcharting work for this, this last piece, because everything has to come together and conclude in an interesting way. And so it was, it was invaluable for us to be able to sit together and for me to be able to say "Oh, but wait, actually, where did we say originally that this thing happened?" Or, you know. So it was very cool.

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:47  
And meanwhile, I was like putting up a thing on the screen and being like, "Eh? What do you think of that? Like, what about this?" "Ooh, that looks good." And being able to do that and, and not like have to take a, you know, export a file or take a screenshot every time I wanted feedback was was helpful.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:05  
Yeah. So we've we've done remote and in-person work a bunch of different ways over the years, sometimes we scheduled sort of synchronous working sessions that were remote. Or some evenings, we'd spent a couple of hours working. And sometimes, right now we're not doing that. So it was fun. I, I hope that soonish we'll get to a place where we can do the longer more in-person things maybe for our next game design, you know, we, we take a weekend and do that sort of thing.

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:41  
It's, it's handy to be able to do that, like, at a place that has food and drinks or something like that, which we're not currently comfortable where like... eating inside most places still here in Charlotte. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:55  

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:56  
But someday.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:57  
Someday. Speaking of the speaking of the world being a being a scary place right now.

Unknown Speaker  6:05  
So, I mean, this is this is actually incredibly low scale on the level of scary things that have happened lately. But two weeks ago, Elon Musk took control of Twitter. And Twitter's a big tool that we use to, to communicate with people and so on. Like, usually, like, it's the easiest place to keep up with when our screaming schedule is, and stuff like that. And it is not looking good. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:36  

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:37  
I mean.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:38  
Culturally or technically.

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:40  
Yeah. Yeah. Like, at this point, just the platform itself is seeming unreliable. And, and, you know, the person in charge has been buddying up to white supremacists in public and, and firing people and being a terrible, terrible boss and disrespecting labor. And, and, but who knows? I don't, I still don't know if two factor authentication works for now. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:12  
It seems like it bounced back. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:13  
They got it back up? Okay. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:14  
Yeah, you could do it. Yeah, it's... things are looking shaky over there.

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:19  
Yeah. So just, just to so you can know where to find us: you will always be able to get to our stuff at If you've got something that subscribes to RSS, you can subscribe to our dev blog there where we post news and info and this podcast will we're, we intend to keep doing. We've also set up a an account at Cohost, which is a, I'll say a Tumblr-like, ecosystem that's, that's cool, and it has a lot of cool games folks on them. So if you go to, you'll get our page there. It's not fancy or anything. There's not a lot there yet. But we may start posting like podcasts there things like that.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:10  
Yeah, I think I kind of am still... I've been on Mastodon for a long time. So that's a space I'm more comfortable with. I have less of a sense yet of like, what's okay to post as a company, as a "brand" on Cohost. So I feel like I'm still learning the space. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:32  
Yeah, it's new enough that, that is still like, this, the norms are still being formed. So it might be that, you know, we don't end up doing a whole lot there. But for now, if you're if you're on Cohost, check it out. And if you haven't checked out Cohost, take a look. It might be a good fit. Yeah. For... if you mostly keep up with us via podcast, there's some stuff that's going to happen before we next do a podcast, which would be what? January would probably be our next episode?

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:02  

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:03  
But there's some big events we know that are upcoming.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:07  
So we have we're as we're heading into the fall and holiday season, there are the, I will say "usual" fall and holiday sales. So Steam has actually publicly posted this? So we're gonna link to it...? Like, normally they've been like, "Keep it confidential!" and then people immediately post it anyway. But Thanksgiving week, effectively—

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:35  
American Thanksgiving. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:36  
Right, thank you. American Thanksgiving week, there is the autumn sale. Around Christmas, from Christmas-ish to New Year's is the winter sale, and then we'll be back for the spring sale. But those are the sorts of published Steam dates that we have. And like I said, there'll be a link in the show notes. They're also going to be holiday sales on Itch. Which we do 60% discounts on Itch and 50% discounts on Steam. So Itch is a better place to buy things and, and for games that are also on Steam, you will get Steam keys from Itch. So yeah, holiday season. I don't have a specific information on a holiday sale for Drive Thru RPG, but I wouldn't be surprised if something comes up. So just kind of keep your eyes peeled. We'll... be on Twitter about it.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:28  
Assuming that Twitter still exists by the time that those sales happen, which seems iffy.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:34  
Yeah. We'll probably also do blog posts as the sales start happening and you know, give links and stuff like that. So yeah, keep an eye out for that if you haven't, if you're missing some of our games and haven't played them yet, or you think someone else would like them, and you'd like to gift them.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:50  
And then for specific to our tabletop games: real soon, there's going to be a bundle, the... it's called the "TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Florida" bundle. It's a, it's another one of the charity bundles that we participated in. This one is going to be funding organizations that protect the rights of transgender people in Florida, which has recently done a lot of shitty political things to attempt to curtail people's rights. And we don't have exact dates; it's, it's essentially like they're putting it together, and once it's ready, it'll go live. But probably depending on when this ep ends—when this podcast episode ends up releasing, it'll probably it'll either be ongoing or about to start. So keep an eye out for that one on the usual places.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:46  
And as we mentioned, overall, you can find our stuff over at We are on Twitter at PlayFutureProof, we're on Cohost as FPG, and on YouTube as Future Proof Games. I'll have to workshop that sentence a little bit, to be a little less, a little less listy. Hit us up with questions or comments on our blog or any of those social media locations. And our theme music is "Juparo" by Brook for Free, which is used with permission.