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’m joined by Steffie de Vaan, part of the Angry Hamster Publishing team and also a prolific freelance writer and developer who has worked on numerous games from 7th Sea to Vampire: The Masquerade, Kult to Ravenloft, Stargate to Exalted, Blue Rose to Call of Cthulhu, and I could keep going! So, without further ado, let’s dive in and find out what’s on Steffie’s playlist…
What are your favourite bands and genre?
Alternative pop probably. I’m a huge fan of Delerium. My biggest fav is actually outside of alternative pop though – Garbage.
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?
I do not like crowds, so the number of live gigs I’ve been to is tiny. I’ll sometimes go to open air fantasy festivals that have multiple stages, like Castlefest. Or I’ll go to Paradiso, which is a beautiful venue in Amsterdam. The last band I saw live was probably something at Castlefest – it’s been ages because of the pandemic. I’d go and see Garbage again though. I’d also love to see Courtney Love or Hole sometime, though I’m not even sure she still performs.
Do you listen to music whilst writing/designing?
I do! My brain focuses on too many things at once and music helps channel some of that. It’s usually a lofi study playlist or Hole. I do turn the music off when I edit, so I can properly hear the sentence flow in my head.
Do you use music whilst gaming?
Nope. I just listen to the soundtrack/soundscaping.
What are your top give favourite albums?
Darling Violetta “Parlour”
Garbage “Version 2.0”
Pink “Beautiful Trauma”
Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill”
If you were stranded on a ship hurtling through deep space, which ten tracks would you want to have with you?
I’d like nine tracks compiled by leading scientists on how to survive hurtling through deep space. And “When I Grow Up” by Garbage for my tenth track.
And a non-music question – and plans/projects for the coming year that you’d like to talk about?
I’m an in-house developer and writer for Angry Hamster Publishing and we’re working on a BIG adventure path for Witch: Fated Souls. I’m really excited about how that’s coming together. Witch is a game about selling your soul to a demon for power, and then realizing that was probably a bad idea. It’s pretty dark, but there’s a rebellious element of “oh year, well fuck you too” to it that I really love.
My official Adventurer’s League scenario for Ravenloft is also releasing in 2022. Ravenloft is a perfect blend of fantasy and horror for me and I can’t wait for people to see it! It’s the penultimate in the adventure path, I think, so I got to write for 7th level characters and that’s always fun.