Episode 8 – Conversation with Liz MacDonell @LizMacD22 of Clever Plays

In this episode I speak with Liz MacDonell, community manager at Clever Plays. An indie game studio based out of Montreal, developers of Leap of Fate, and Operation Tango (Which as of this time, now has a release date!)

In this conversation, I talk with Liz about the Clever Plays studio and having the company based in a city with a lot of other indie game dev studios and the kind of environment it creates (00:00 – 5:00)

We discuss Liz’s background and how she got into her role at Clever Plays by initially creating an “unofficial stream team” with a collection of other streamers and getting her feet wet being a community manager for the group Jabroni TV where she learned how to juggle such roles of managing social media, and schedules, and video editing which prepared her for the opportunity at Clever Plays. She also touches on how important it is to have a great support group that is going to help push you to succeed (5:00 -11:30)

Liz also shares some advice on what she feels has helped her prepare for her role and that to always be willing to learn and polish your skills. She makes an important point as well about the difficulties of getting into the role as it requires having the right voice and passion for the studio, and that when looking for a role like this, to keep your motivation up as being the right fit is incredibly important and you’ll eventually find one that is the right fit for you and the studio. (11:30 – 17:10)

We then talk about how Liz got into video games and what her fond memories of her first console and favorite PS2 game, Dark Cloud. Having to share the experience with her brother and the two getting to experience the game together. As well discussing her experience with Dark Cloud and potentially enjoying its sequel (17:10 – 28:00)

We move on to then talking about what she is playing and enjoying now, and Liz touches on the beauty of playing co-op games and how you can share and experience games together. One of the important things Liz brings up is the joy you can get from enjoying a game with friends and how it only enhances the experience, especially now during the pandemic when it’s harder and harder to actually spend time together with people. (28:00 – 35:10)

We briefly touch on a game she felt did not hold up well, in this case Harvest Moon Save The Homeland for the PS2, and while I can and will agree with Liz that it did a lot of things that paved the way for future Harvest Moon games, I will also agree with her that it really is not the best entry to start with in the series. (35:10 – 41:00) and quickly move on to discussing trends she has enjoyed seeing rise, and how she enjoys the rogue-like/lite genre and even enjoys watching other people play them more. We continue this discussion on rogue-likes, specifically Hades, and how even if you aren’t able to play at a high level, being able to enjoy it via another person, or playing it on its “easy” mode without having to struggle with some of the difficulties of the genre. This leads to the discussion of being able to enjoy watching video games on services like Twitch and being able to share their experience with them and the community (41:00 – 56:00)

I would have been remiss if I didn’t ask Liz, the community manager, her thoughts on the landscape for being able to communicate with fans easier thanks to the technology as well as the importance of trying to create a welcoming community and try and foster its growth. (56:00 – 1:07:00)

We wrap it up with Liz giving some more information on their asymmetrical game, Operation Tango, what it’s about and where you can find more information for it (Links can be found below in the link tree!)

To learn more about Clever Plays, check out their Link Tree below which includes their Twitter, Twitch, website, and everything else to stay up to date with them and to participate in their community!

Click here to view their linktree

To read more of what Liz has to, check her out on Twitter @LizMacD22

To learn more about the collective group she mentioned in the episode, check out their site at http://jabroni.tv/