The Great Radio Reflection

Radio really turned out to be an exciting and fun project, I seriously lucked out in getting such a cool group to do it all with.  The core of the show was a live D&D adventure, so the bulk of the project was fun as hell when we played through our noir story.  The adventure was to solve a murder in a city full of corruption.  We talked, sneaked, and fought our way to the truth behind the conspiracy.  It was even an authentic investigation since Matt, our DM, was the only person to actually know the story.  It was also a great dynamic way to bring life into our noir characters as they responded to situations as they unexpectedly arrived.  I got to expand Jim Sardic’s personality through example, which turned out to be a very memorable way to deepen a character’s experience.

I suppose the most difficult aspect of the show was the background stuff.  Setting up the mics was interesting.  We signed out some serious gear from the school and set aside a study room in Mason Hall to set everything up.  It took a while to get all the recording equipment where it needed to be, adjust levels to account for the party members moved around in their seats, and get all the feeds to record into the memory.  We had to stop recordings every once in a while to make sure everything was still working correctly and everyone was still being recorded.  The files were uncompressed as well, so during those breaks we would transfer all the recordings into a larger hard drive to make more room.  Luckily it all went smoothly once we had our system in place.  There was only one real hiccup, where we went through about 15 minutes of content before we realized the mics were off.  That didn’t even show up in the actual radio show though, it was of a later point in the story.

The full D&D game took a long time to make.  The clip we put up for the radio show was the first episode of many.  Throughout them we continue to investigate the murder.  It took a few days, but eventually we solved it and defeated the killer in his mansion.  In total, I think there’s about 10 hours of content, each split into 1 hours episodes.  Not all of them are edited yet though; it turned out to be a lot more content than anyone anticipated.  It will be a cool thing to have once it’s finished, the complete set of our adventure.

Looking through the comments on my group’s sites on our show, I was pleased to see that people really seemed to like the show.  I felt like we were hogging time by taking a full day’s worth of radio show broadcast time, but I’m glad others in our class enjoyed it.  The two shows I listened to, NOIR Not the Father, and Dinner Party at Six, were both fun to listen to as well.  It was great to see the vastly different takes each group had on the project.  NOIR Not the Father was also a murder investigation scenario, but extremely different in its approach.  The investigation was in the style of a game show of sorts, with the moderator examining evidence, testimonies, and the suspects responses to them.  It was a classic noir story of deceit and crime, and we got to see it through the lens of the aftermath.  It acts like the epilogue of a story, and we’re getting to glimpse in with the details and evidence that the investigators managed to find.  Dinner Party at Six, alternatively, was more of a live show.  I love the format that these kinds of shows use, with the written story being unveiled live on the radio show.  It was a murder mystery, with the motives behind the potential murders slowly unraveling for us as time goes on.  It was reminiscent of the movie version of Clue; nobody knew who the dangerous one among them could be.  There were technical mishaps; the group was communicating through skype and the various call sound effects came up sometimes in the show.  It wasn’t too much of a problem though, since it was mostly just in the beginning.  If I were to suggest anything, it’d be to either edit out those parts or just plan out the recording technique among everyone to avoid technical background stuff bleeding through.  Regardless, I enjoyed the show a lot.  Murder mystery is a great backdrop for a noir story, and this was a good rendition of it.

Overall, I enjoyed the hell out of the radio weeks.  I had a great group who I got to know over a very social game, all while expanding my character’s personality and depth in an improvised, interactive story.  And after that, I got to listen to some other cool shows, and see all the different ideas people came up with when they had such artistic freedom.  Here’s hoping video will be just as interesting!

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