What is Nerdvana Live? Perhaps you have stumbled on this by accident and are curious as to what it’s all about? This is a quick how-to that I hope will hopefully make it easier for people to engage in this new thing, which I think has a lot of potential to be an actual “thing”.
What is Nerdvana Live?
First up, it started as a thing that I think was cooked up by @ElisaRockDoc @JoeKGBX and Randy Pitchford. Pitchford in particular I think saw it as a way to let the trolls in and throw some punches on a live show for the viewers entertainment. At the time of writing, he has had zero troll calls on the show, which has instead been filled with insightful conversation about game dev and the industry in general, but most importantly has created an avenue to see more of the folks who are likely all working on the “next project” at Gearbox and won’t have many public appearances until marketing is ready to talk about the next thing and decides to get them involved.
How can you engage?
There are multiple ways you can interact with the show. It’s a live stream hosted on Twitch and Youtube the same time every week on Sunday at 2:30pm PT / 5:30pm ET. (that’s 7.30am Monday morning my time in Australia Land)
The format of each episode is that you have 2 people having a conversation about well… anything to encourage people from the audience to call in and ask questions.
If you live in the US, you can call the hotline at 830-549-NERD. If you are living overseas (like me), you’ll have to convert that number to make an international call. I don’t know the rates, but @Psychichazard I think said it was 30 pence for 40mins via Skype from over in Europe?
If you happen to live in the Frisco, TX area, you can also rock up after the show at Nerdvana Coffee and have dinner with the folks at Gearbox. I’m not sure if this is a thing happening every week, but Pitchford has been encouraging people to do so every time he was on the stream so, if you can, I’d definitely recommend making the trip!
Alternatively you can also join the Official Discover Server and call in via the channel chat, which I did fairly successfully this week after a few technical problems on my end with my microphone input. The process at the moment is that you’ll join the open voice channel called “Wanna talk to us? JOIN!” and once Joe is ready for you, he’ll pop you into the “Screener Room” where you’ll wait to be pulled into the “Live Channel” by Elisa. It’s much cheaper than making an actual phone call, and chances are you’ll already have most of the tools you’ll need if you do any kind of community engagement for the games you play on and off PC.
I want to call in but don’t know what to ask.
Assuming you’ve got past the first barrier of actually being able to call in, the next step is having a question or two to ask on the stream. This can be really challenging if you don’t already have something in mind prior. It’s also very easy to just watch the stream and forget about asking a question because honestly the content has gotten better with each episode!
One way to approach this is to know in advance who is going to be on the show. At the time of writing, this information is being distributed solely on social media via Twitter. So I’d recommend following them and checking in before Sunday as the hosts are typically known by the Friday that week. By default I believe it’s supposed to be Elisa and Randy Pitchford, but there have already been a few planned/unplanned guests on the show including Mikey Neumann, a magician named Rudy Coby and Sam Winkler.
Once you know who’s on, think about what you’d ask if you got to talk with that person. It’s not often you’ll ever get to interact with them directly beyond social media like Twitter, so this is a really good chance to pick their brains. You can ask them literally anything, even troll them if that is a thing you want to do (but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it).
On that note, I say “anything”, but in reality, that doesn’t include new information about unannounced titles (ie Borderlands 3). That being said, there are still questions you CAN ask on the topic, but expect the responses to be very limited, because these folks are legally obligated NOT to say anything.
The other way to think up questions is to watch the stream and find something to ask based on the conversation being had. It can be harder to do, and another thing I noted with the setup I had when I called in was that I basically had to stop watching the stream in order to make a call in, by the time I was ready to call, I had missed about 10-15mins of the stream (though that mostly boiled down to technical issues on my end). Not only was it lagging behind, but you can’t like have 2 audio outputs running at the same time without a proper headset etc. It’s also challenging to be part of the chat discussion and watch and/or talk at the same time, so keep that in mind when you do decide to call in.
If all else fails, here’s a couple of stock questions you can ask (note there is nothing wrong with reusing these, especially if there are different people on the show):
- What are your mornings like before you get into work?
- Ask about what they are wearing, or that sick looking tattoo they have half hidden under a sleeve (do this respectfully please).
- What is your most favourite day of the week?
- What do you do in your downtime when not working at Gearbox (or work in general if they aren’t a GBX employee)?
- What is the one thing you’d like to do more of but can’t because you are too busy?
- Who is your most favourite game character (from any game) and why?
- What game are you currently playing?
- What is your official title/role at Gearbox?
- What does your job involve? ie What is a typical day like for you?
- What sort of skills do you think would be required to do your job? ie for ppl looking to get a job like yours
Anyway, this is me being excited about how I get to start my Monday mornings now (which is my day off). I highly recommend you at least try to catch the streams or even the podcasts especially if you’ve heard some bad commentary on social media or the forums. This is your opportunity to get to know the folks behind the games you play and interact with them on a level that I think is actually quite rare in large game dev companies!
I’ll update this thread as new information arises and I recommend sharing it with others so they can get up to scratch and hopefully start engaging with the show!
Here are all the links I mentioned posted again for easy reference:
- https://www.twitch.tv/nerdvanalive - Twitch
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjKn45MCME0qnCkMmEfIHrA - Youtube
- https://discordapp.com/invite/W7ZBqpk - Official Discord Server
- https://twitter.com/NerdvanaLive - Twitter
- http://nerdvanafrisco.com/nerdvana-live - Homepage
- https://twitter.com/NerdvanaCoffee - Nerdvana Coffee (the venue where the show is streamed)