Main character Fangnail
, worgen restoration druid
Convert to Raid (co-guild Convert to Raid Sha)
Aerie Peak (US-Alliance)
WoW Insider: So Pat, when we first started getting tips about this Pat Krane guy, it was in reference to Convert to Raid -- but then we found about not only CtR but everything else you do. Can you give us the snapshot view of your WoW- and gaming-related projects?
: Where to start! On top of producing the Convert to Raid podcast
, I'm the GM of our amazing community on Aerie Peak. Trying to serve a mega-guild is a unique challenge, but thankfully I've got some really awesome officers and other community leaders to help me out. I've got a few other gaming-specific projects that I work on too, including co-hosting a couple of shows on GameBreaker.tv -- Legendary
and now the GameBreaker show
-- and I'm also doing some voiceovers for a few game reviews there as well.
I have some other projects too, and one is a podcast about television (both traditional and non-traditional broadcasting, streaming services and apps) called That TV Show
If that's not enough, I also put together a podcasting network of great shows from some friends of mine called the Signals Media All Star Network
. Inside, you can find shows on gaming, geek nostalgia, entertainment, and outdoor stuff as well, with more to come hopefully later this year. Most of these producers have strong WoW
ties too, so you guys should check 'em out!
Pat, that's a lot of projects.
It's pretty cool. I work with people I genuinely like and respect talking about subjects of which I'm a fan, and I get to act like a complete dork and try to entertain folks. Then I get to talk to and interact with those people to find out what they're thinking too. It's one of the best gigs I've ever had.
So what of these things are professional projects - because you're a voiceover and radio pro, isn't that right? Or is all of the WoW and gaming work an entirely separate passion?
You're right! I worked in and around radio for a long time, where I really learned a lot about putting together shows, production techniques, marketing, and more. And over the last few years, thanks to my podcast partners, a great group of friends and a couple of fairly big breaks, I've been able to carve out a niche and start to make my passions become my profession.
Several years ago I worked at a place I hated, the kind of job where I was yelling to myself in the car on the way home every single night. After I finally quit that place, I just wanted one one thing from everything I do: to love it. I'm a passionate guy, and if I'm not doing something I absolutely love, I won't be doing it for long.
I consider all of the projects I'm doing now as a "professional passion," if that's a thing. Or maybe I'm a passionate professional? Whatever you call it, I'm working hard while having a blast.
So what's on the actual work plate right now?
I've done a bunch of voiceover work along with commercial audio and video projects, but for the last year or so I've been transitioning into doing more podcasting, streaming, and online shows like that. But that's after a long time of working in radio and advertising agencies and being an audio and video consultant/producer.
And what about voiceover work? It sounds like you've got a pretty wide-ranging reel there.
Yeah, I don't have the "voice of awesome" like my CtR co-host and creative conspirator Koltrane
, so I've had to branch out and nail down a cast of characters I have in my head at all times. Scary thought, right? We start with our friendly next-door neighbor for a lot of commercial work, then move into over-dramatic booming sarcastic reads ... though most people in WoW
probably recognize me as the guy who does a solid goblin voice along with the other cast of characters I bring to our produced skits and songs on Convert to Raid
I've played bugs, elemental giants, a very
cheesy radio announcer, dragons, cowboys, gnomes, a couple of recognizable parody voices from cartoons, and an entire crew of half-wits. Voiceover work is a great creative outlet for me and lets me become someone or something else for a little bit, which is always pretty cool.
Beyond the podcasts, you're actively involved in the Convert to Raid network of guilds -- and we hear the scope is pretty darn wide there, too.
Currently, we have eight co-guilds, with over 6,500 characters and roughly 4,000 accounts. There are over 90 raid teams run by our members with minimal oversight from our officers, though we do have a few raid liaisons to make sure we're serving our raiders as best we can.
We consider all of these co-guilds as being a part of the group, trying not to make distinctions between them unless the game forces us. We all see the same guild chat thanks to the addon Greenwall
, plus we use some public chat channels as well so that we can all be linked in to each other and can find others to run dungeons, PvP, or hop into a raid.
All that and yet you're a new guild, isn't that right? So if someone hasn't heard of CtR, it's not because they've been out of it for ages and ages?
The CtR guild just got done celebrating its first anniversary, and what a year it's been! It's only when I think back to all members we've gotten to welcome home, the systems we've had to build, all the problems we've had to overcome, and the projects that are still out there that we want to accomplish that I realize how very ambitious this community experiment was and continues to be.
So what about you? How much play time do you find you're able to enjoy yourself in CtR? Has playing taken a back seat to everything else you do related to the game?
I'm still raiding, leveling new characters, and having fun with friends in game along the way. While some of my game time is filled up with other responsibilities these days, I try to get in as much play time as I can. And I'm not just playing WoW
either, but branching out into other PC and console games too.
Is that in a conscious, directed sense that involve bringing commentary about it to your shows? Or is it more noodling around in other games for fun?
There is a part of me, the professional part of me, that considers playing other games as a part of my career development and overall knowledge base. Knowing how other games play is always a bonus and gives you a more well-rounded view of the gaming world and culture. EQ Next
, and every other MMO gets compared to WoW
, but if I have personal knowledge of the games, it will help me be able to break down the pros and cons a little better. Even playing PC, console and iOS games will give me a much bigger picture of what gaming is today.
But in reality, I'm a gamer and always have been. I'm a first-generation video gamer too, and can remember playing Atari games and taking pictures of the screen -- actual photographs that you had to send to a place to develop -- to remember some of my accomplishments. And while the games have changed along with the technology, it's still about capturing those moments and that feeling of epic success. I'm still that competitive, nerdy kid trying to improve on his last score and put my initials on the scoreboard. The business side of it is just a plus.
So here you are, neck deep in all these WoW-related podcasts and projects, and still you've found time to launch a new video series that shows new podcasters how to get started in the studio. Tell us more about Into the Studio!
Inside the Studio
is a long time coming, actually. I've been to a couple of podcasting conventions, and while I like meeting fellow podcasters, some of those seminars are a complete waste of everyone's time. It made me start to think about how I would present ways to improve one's podcasting and give insight into the systems and the tech behind everything that I do -- without the hefty price tag of conventions. I've usually held some sort of teaching or mentoring role throughout my career, so this is a great way to bring that back alongside another professional passion.
There is so much information one can talk about here, so the question becomes how can I make it relevant and appropriate for those that are thinking about getting into podcasting or those that want to get to that next level? It finally dawned on me that a series of short videos (10 to 15 minutes) would be the best route. Keep it quick, focused, and have it packed full of information so that viewers won't get overwhelmed and can still refer back to all the information presented.
I just started this series, so there are still a lot of possibilities for subject matter. The list includes both software and hardware information, helpful equipment, audio and video production techniques, sound reinforcement, ideas on how to build and shape your show and more.
For now it's just me inside my studio, talking about how and why I do some of the things I do. The more I record stuff, the more I realize that it's essentially Alton Brown's Good Eats show for burgeoning podcasters.
Find Pat at PatKrane.com
, and look up Convert to Raid at Convert to Raid
"I never thought of playing
WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with
Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) or a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.