Most interviews with games industry figures tend to be about our latest game or “hot new thing” we’re working on. But what about the people behind the games we play and, hopefully, love? Little is said, or explored, of the actual person’s tastes, or how they got into the hobby, etc.
Face The Music is a new column in which I aim to explore a side that is rarely explored – music tastes of the people behind the games we play. What do they listen to? Bands they love? Greatest gig? Do they use music whilst they work, or whilst they game?
Each week I’ll be chatting to someone in the games industry about their musical tastes. This week I chat to Alan Bahr, of Gallant Knight Games. It’s been fantastic to watch both Alan, and GKG, grow over the last six years and I really think they are one of the most interesting companies around today, and certainly looking forward to what the future holds for them. I’ve, personally, been lucky enough to do some work for Gallant Knight myself and got the chance to meet Alan, and his wife and co-conspirator Erin, at Gen Con back in 2018. If you’re unfamiliar with GKG’s work then check out the range of Tiny D6 games and settings as well as the Cold Shadows RPG of espionage. Alan’s also written for a number of companies, such as Osprey Games with his Heirs to Heresy: The Fall of the Knights Templar RPG that was released in October 2021.
What are your favourite bands and genre?
Oof, that’s a hard one. I’m pretty eclectic in terms of my listening taste. I listen to a lot of jazz, country, folk music, electronica/synth/stuff like that, as well as a lot of “classic” rock. Currently I’m a big fan of the Stanfields.
How many gigs have you been to? What was your first/last? Your favourite? What band/performer have you never seen live but would love to (or have loved to if the band/performer have broken up, retired, or died)?
Not that many (less than a half-dozen). My first one was a local college band back when I was at university. I have some hearing loss that makes concerts hard (I have to wear my hearing aids, and even then, I still have trouble with the crowds and noise.) I’m very much a vinyl listener at home. That said, I think the last concert I was at was the Barenaked ladies sometime in 2012-2013. I always regret I never got the chance to see Leonard Cohen in concert.
Do you listen to music whilst writing/designing?
Absolutely. I can’t work in silence. Usually it’s just a playlist of songs I like. a randomly generated radio, or some thematic instrumental.
Do you use music whilst gaming?
I have, though it’s never an automatic inclusion fo me. It generally has to be a specific or special occasion. I usually use intsrumental music.
What are your top five favourite albums?
In no particular order:
Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood
The Stanfields – Modus Operandi
Chris Botti – Live in Boston
Leonard Cohen – I Want It Darker
Guns n’ Roses – Greatest Hits
If you were stranded on a ship hurtling through deep space, which ten tracks would you want to have with you?
I don’t even know if I can answer that. I listen to a lot of stuff, and I tend to like a lot of stuff.
And a non-music question – any plans/projects for the coming year that you’d like to talk about?
We recently launched GallantFunding, an attempt to take GKG off Kickstarter onto our own webstore while emulating the fun of Kickstarter and crowdfunding! We’ve got a lot coming there, so that’s the best place to see what’s new and exciting.
Gallant Knight Games Website: https://www.gallantknightgames.com