Todays featured meda guests are Doug Osterhoudt and Zach Denoncour of the Adjacent Hex podcast. One night they were sitting around the table playing one of their favourite board games and started talking about some of the theories behind game creation and what some of the fundamentals of the hobby were. Frequently in possession of opinions (whether differing or similar) about games and some of the different aspects of the gaming hobby, Doug and Zach leapt into the void with the help of their editor Jodie Wagner of Greater Than Games and the rest is history.
Three random facts about Zach:
- Once sang and played Rhythm Guitar for a band called “Automatic Sliding Door.” They broke up after about two hours.
- Bought the complete run of The Human Fly comic books because someone told him not to.
- Once managed to get ALL of the expansions to Firefly the Game to fit into the base game box. Once.
Three random facts about Doug:
- Author of “Live Free or Die, Die, Die!” the title story of volume two of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series.
- Loves to cook, and once won a meatball cooking contest at work.
- Saved the life of a small dog when he was in Paris.
Questions by Kimberly Bullock (KB), answers by Doug Osterhoudt (DO) and Zach Denoncour (ZD).
Three board game media related questions:
KB: When you sit down to record, do you guys follow a script, basic format, notes?
DO: Usually Zach or I will come up with an idea, and then 24 hours before recording I will text Zach and say, “we should do *fill in the blank* topic instead, to which he replies, “good idea.” Then we do research on our own. Before we actually start recording we have a conversation, usually about half an hour, where we’ll take notes on games we’d like to mention, bring up things we’d like to discuss, and occasionally create some sort of order in which we would like to discuss things (hopefully we can find a good segue). We aren’t committed to the notes, though, and having an idea of what we want to do in our head we just have a conversation and sort of see where it takes us. I think people might be surprised at how many notes we have prepared before the show we never get to just because we don’t want to force them into the conversation. It can lead to some surprises, but hopefully we keep the awkward pauses to a minimum, and for the most part I think it works well to give us that conversational tone we’re shooting for.
ZD: (laughs) Let me tell you about how many sets of notes I’ve started and then scrapped due to last second mind changes...
KB: How do you decide what content to cover on each episode?
DO: We keep notes on ideas we think would make for interesting show topics. A lot of times it’s the research that will get us to sorta key in on a particular aspect of an idea, creating a whole new topic with a narrower focus. Other times it will be based on what we happen to be seeing in the games we’re playing, or something that may be happening during that time of the year (e.g. stocking stuffers, BGG’s most anticipated games list). Thankfully poor Zach is able to accommodate my craziness when it comes to switching topics last minute.
ZD: My favorite topics are when we get to go deep on a mechanic or globally applicable strategy. Those are the times when I walk away thinking ‘we did some good today’ but at the same time, we’re learning something ourselves. I think that’s what sets us apart from other podcasts. We’re not about reviewing the games so much as providing insight and experiences.
KB: Who had the idea for starting Adjacent Hex?
ZD: My background is in filmmaking which is why I started doing sketch comedy with Another Let Down. After hanging out with Doug for a while, we were toying around with the idea of doing a separate video series of us and our friends playing board games but due to scheduling conflicts, we only ever recorded a pilot (which I never edited). Eventually, our friend, Jodie Wagner posted on Facebook that she was looking for a podcasting project and we thought “well, we have opinions…”
DO: Funny note on that...it’s all background I didn’t really know about (Jodie looking for a project that is). I think Zach and I had talked about doing a podcast, and I think when Zach saw Jodie’s post it was sort of just the thing we needed to get us started. A big shout out to Jodie, who takes our madness and ramblings and turns it into gold!
Three questions just for fun:
KB: If you could be any comic book character, who would you like to be?
ZD: Wow. That’s difficult. Are we looking for traditional superhero character here or like can I go something more obscure? I mean, is Scott Pilgrim too obvious?
DO: Calvin from “Calvin & Hobbes”...more comic strip than book. Ginko from “Mushi Shi”...although I’ve never actually read the manga, only seen the show, and had to look up if there even was a manga. Yorick Brown from “Y the Last Man” so I could have a pet monkey...but do I even want a pet monkey? I don’t think I do. Pass.
KB: What is one game that you don’t think gets enough recognition/love?
ZD: I’m inclined to say “Love Letter” here. It’s perfect as a filler and playable for all ages yet I always seem to forget about it on my shelf when I go to grab games for a game day.
DO: “Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot.” It gets so much hate from “serious gamers” because of the randomness of play and the way the winner is chosen, but I have had a ton of fun with that game and have been able to get it to the table with “non-gamers” so many times because it is so easy to teach and play. I do think it gets a little out of control with the expansions (I would stop after Orange...or is it Green? Whichever comes first.), but if you’re able to play the game for the sake of having fun without caring who wins it can be a great time. Not saying it’s the best game in the world, just saying I enjoy it.
KB: Where is your favorite place to be in NH?
DO: Hiking with my dog, Sokka, out to dinner with my wife, with my friends playing games. Or USA Chicken and Biscuit in Manchester...I also love the city of Portsmouth (it’s where my wife and I were married).
ZD: This is going to sound weird but the mill district of Manchester. When I was in High School, we used to go climbing at Vertical Dreams all day and jam a game of Warhammer or whatever in the evening. Best value I can think of for a nerd who still wants to grab some exercise. Sadly, the store we used to game at closed its brick and mortar while I was away at college.
You can find their podcast on iTunes or by RSS feed by Googling “Adjacent Hex Podcast.” They also stream live on twitch at www.twitch.tv/anotherletdown. You can find additonal video content at www.Youtube.com/anotherletdownCF. If you want to contact them Twitter is the best way to do so. Zach is @denonczd and Doug is @itsoktolaff. You can also send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.