Photo Credit: Nikita Bogolyubov
You already know who Felicia Day is: she’s the Queen of the Nerds. And you already know what “The Guild” is: it’s the web series about a group of MMORPG players who end up as much a part of each other’s real lives as their virtual ones. But what you may not know is that after the past few seasons premiered on MSN and X-Box, the next season – the series’ sixth – will show up only on Day’s Geek & Sundry channel on YouTube. But don’t worry… As Day told us over the phone, it’ll see the same show you know and love.
“The only change you’ll be seeing is a lot of extra content,” said Day. “Having the flexibility to upload videos on a shorter time-frame, and cut out all the extra content around the episodes… We’re doing up to an hour and a half of extras. Production diaries, behind the scenes pieces for every episode, and live Hangouts with audience members every other week. We had an amazing relationship with X-Box and MSN, but we just want to take advantage of any difference in the platforms.”
Still, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t concern taking the show out of its safety net. “Audience doesn’t prove to be immediately movable,” said Day. “Just because an audience is paying attention in one area doesn’t mean they’ll remember, or even be able to find out that you’re somewhere else.”
The good news for Day is, she credits “The Guild’s” dedicated social media accounts on Twitter, Tumblr and more as the main way audience members found the show… And those won’t change. “The fact that we can use to alert people the show is coming on a different platform is definitely an advantage,” said Day. Geek & Sundry didn’t hurt either: the channel had more subscribers at launch than “The Guild” does, total.
Talking more specifically about the new season, Day addressed the idea that she might be pulling from her own life for the plot; mainly as veteran gamer Codex (Day’s character) ends up working on the game she’s devoted her life to; and finds out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. “I don’t know if that’s my personal story,” said Day thoughtfully. “There are a couple of arcs in the season that are taken from my recent experiences… There’s a big running theme of criticism and how to deal with that. At the same time, I wanted to have Codex be challenged, and think about how video games are made in a different way.”
Continuing, Day said that her time working on video games – and making “The Guild” – have opened her eyes to how difficult it is to actually make a video game. “At the same time, it’s not an educational season!” said Day, laughing. “It’s about making the funniest situations, and we have some insane storylines, particularly with Clara and Vork.”
Also coming up, Zaboo will be on a “personal quest,” while Bladezz and Clara will be interacting more than usual. Tink meanwhile has a “surprising twist that I don’t want to give away,” said Day. Oh, and you’ll get another glimpse inside the seldom seen game played by the Knights of Good.
Plus, the season will be more serial than usual, with a break in the middle to change things up. “I think it’s always difficult to maintain an audience through a web series season,” said Day. “And this is a long one, twelve episodes. So I deliberately threw in some curve balls and guest stars in halfway through.”
As to whether we’ll see more “Guild” comics, possibly in conjunction with Season Six, it sounds like that’s not in the cards. “We actually didn’t even know we were going to make another ’Guild’ season earlier in the year,” said Day. “We were very lucky in that YouTube decided to support our new season. The comic books, and their release dates are much longer than the lead time to sit down and create a web series, even.”
Day also noted that she would love to write more comics, but it’s always a matter of time, and how it works with the continuity of the series… However, she is working on another, non-“Guild” comic that will be released next year.
Getting all Ouroboros on it, we asked whether we might see Dark Horse adapt Day’s “Guild” comics as motion comics for her Geek & Sundry channel. “You know, that’s a good idea!” said Day. “It’s something that we’ve thought about, definitely.”
Moving on, we asked whether we’d ever see the gang, well, move on from their MMO days, and perhaps into other games. “You’re basically doing a series where people are staring at monitors,” said Day laughing. “You have to be a lot more inventive than you think when constructing storylines. Really, it’s about the characters journeys, versus the gaming itself. Certainly it would be interesting to see them encounter that, but it’s more about what’s an engaging, movie script arc.”
Before we let her go, we chatted a bit about the recently launched “Mists of Pandaria” expansion for World of Warcraft… Turns out there’s a pretty cool Blizzard cameo in the new season of “The Guild”; but Day has only created her Panda, entered the starting zone… And ran out of time. “Maybe after the series launches!” said Day.
“The Guild” launched on Geek & Sundry on this week!