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The Art of Storytelling

  1. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 17 :: Thing Names

    Ride with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    When last we talked vehicles, we were simply paving the way for the designs to come. We discussed the influences we wanted to pull from and kicked around a few early mock-ups for what kinds of cobbled together junk cars the peoploids would be cruising around in.

    Now, Cap, Doug, Tony, and Max are ready to zero in on the cars at the heart of our series: the Lightning Dogs’ sweet rides. And, of course, no vehicle episode would be complete without some fascinating detours into the stranger realms of car culture. We explore crystal-powered engine designs and what that technology might mean for the look and sound of the cars, ask hard-hitting questions like “does Glampire need a signature vehicle?”, and build vehicle and accessory concepts backwards from a repository of “thing names” – random punny titles that would have been right at home in 80s and 90s action figure aisles. (more…)

  2. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 16 :: Salty Tales of Captain Scrap

    Ride with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    There are perhaps no tales wilder and weirder than the stories spun by sailors… And when your seaside towns are populated by barnacled peoploids, well… “weird” doesn’t quite cut it. We often talk about the dangers of the oceans in the world of The Lightning Dogs, but we have yet to devote much time to the one psycho sailor with a hard enough shell to brave those savage waters: Captain Scrap.

    In this episode, we give our surly sea turtle pirate his due. We discuss how he fits into the post-apocalyptic ecosystem, his look, and the kind of mutant salts he might hang out with. But that’s easier said than done! This troublesome terrapin has caused a quarrel – Doug, Tony, and Cap are each of a very different mind about the captain’s character. Could this be the beginning of our first ‘Dog fight? Plus: further questions (and answers) about Earth’s remaining A.I.
    (more…)

  3. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 15 :: Vehicular Paradigms

    Ride with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    Since the onset of Lightning Dogs, we knew that cool as hell, action figure-ready vehicles were essential for this concept to come to life. Our influences draw heavily from Road Warrior rides and the gimmick-packed cartoon tie-ins of the 80s and 90s. Vehicles couldn’t be an afterthought for Lightning Dogs – they needed to be a core component of the series; as iconic as the characters themselves

    Enter the resident Lightning Dogs gearhead: Max Acree – a car nerd of the highest order and designer of all our vehicles going forward. In this episode we look over the first round of concept sketches and establish the cartoons, toylines, and fascinating real world car cultures that are going to fuel our character’s transportation. (more…)

  4. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 14 :: Tubular Tubers

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    Last episode, Doug and Cap expounded on the look and powers for the Lightning Dogs’ greatest foe: Glampire. Now, Tony is back in the mix and he’s brought some illustrations showcasing his take on the big bad’s villainous style. That’s only the beginning of this art-fueled journey – because Tony also has in tow some tubular tubers… a concept for a sort of “potato person” living beneath the Wasteland. That peculiar premise kicks off a discussion about different kinds of sentient forces at play in our freaky mutant playground. (more…)

  5. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 13 :: Beware the Glampire

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    Our series central villain is Glampire – an immortal alien, stranded on Earth, who’s seen humanity’s rise and fall. He’ll stop at nothing to get off this forsaken, mutant-infested rock – even if that means lording over the freaks of the Wasteland. But what exactly are Glampire’s powers? How much of a vampire is he really? In this episode, Doug and Cap set out to determine exactly that.

    We explore possible twists and turns in Glampire’s Earth exile and elaborate on what exactly was the massive orbital disaster that sent the planet into a crystalline apocalypse. We also share our research into the many formats and features of pitch and story bibles from some of our favorite television series. (more…)

  6. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 12 :: Artistic Reinforcements

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    Our aspirations for Lightning Dogs are as vast as the debris-scattered plains of the Wasteland. But can three people be the sole creative forces behind what we hope to be a full-fledged animated series? Maybe, but we’d be daft not to tap our resources and team-up with other humans for this cartoon canine crusade.

    In this episode we bring in Kaymonstar and local-shop, two of our favorite illustrative pals, to join forces with us in building the creatures and characters of the Wasteland. We explore new takes on old ideas like the Diamond Dogs and Earth’s remaining robots, as well as roll out some exciting concepts on new friends and foes. We also share how we developed the Lightning Dogs logo you now know and love! (more…)

  7. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 11 :: Vistas of the Wasteland

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    After spending so many sessions dedicated almost exclusively to building the history of the Lightning Dogs’ homeworld, we decide to kick back and let loose with new weirdness from the Wasteland. In fact, this time we’re taking a scenic tour.

    What was initially just a Mad Max-style desert is starting to grow and evolve into its own character. In this episode we discuss our expanding topography, and also make strides towards putting a pin in how exactly planet Earth got so twisted. The origin story for our world’s horrific transformation begins here, along with discussions on what the animation of our hypothetical series will look like. (more…)

  8. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 10 :: Home Sweet Homeworld – Part 3

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    This is our final installment in our world building project to create The Lightning Dogs’ homeworld, and we’ve saved the best (and most complicated) part for last: The Great War. This global conflict drastically shapes the lives of our main characters – leaving them combat hardened, in some cases orphaned, all of them profoundly marked.  But moreover, it’s a conflict that taps into the unique situation of their civilization’s origins; a culmination of the species’ rapid evolution and their advancement from what humanity left behind. The trauma, scale, and in some cases motives of this war make The Lightning Dogs’ mission to Earth all the more critical.

    Join us as we pull from Earth’s history and our own present day social upheavals to change the course of canine history. (more…)

  9. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 9 :: Home Sweet Homeworld – Part 2

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    In our quest to flesh out our canine heroes’ origins, we first needed to learn a thing or two about where they came from. Enter the unconventional, worldbuilding RPG: Microscope. In our first round with the system we created an outline of the homeworld’s history – from the moment humanity abandoned their canine compatriots, to The Lightning Dogs’ departure back to Earth. Now, we’re going deeper and adding in details such as the ways that leftover human technology informed an industrial revolution.

    But that’s not all, we also spend some time with new concepts for wasteland fauna and vehicles, as well as a potential first contact scenario for the Lightning Dogs and Earth’s remaining robots, and even… a spin-off?! (more…)

  10. Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast :: Episode 8 :: Home Sweet Homeworld – Part 1

    lightning-dogs-album-artRide with The Lightning Dogs: canines from another world; stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a crazy idea fueled by our favorite 80s pop culture and we’ve been recording our development of it since the moment lightning struck. Join us on our quest to build this world and launch it as an animated series.

    Characters are shaped by the world in which they’re forged. So it should be no surprise that when we attempted to cement the origin stories of The Lightning Dogs, we found ourselves asking questions about where they came from and what life was like on the homeworld of these evolved canines.

    To help us in answering these big picture questions, we’ve turned to Microscope – an unconventional roleplaying game designed specifically to create histories. We zoom in and out of great moments in dog history, plot the species’ rise from four legs to two, discover fascinating ways that living in humanity’s shadow pushed their civilization to new and unusual places, and uncover the ancient story of The First Lightning Dog. (more…)

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