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The Patrick Hickey Jr Interview

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Dec
15
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Why this picture?    Patrick Hickey Jr is the voice behind The Padre Game! 

  I had no idea this man was so accomplished and so much like me! We talked for over an hour about the games that inspired us, the passion for indie development, and the community as a whole. He has accomplished so much over his lifetime and done just about everything you can think of, a college professor, a writer, voice actor, advocate, journalist!  

The Book

Will feature interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.

Bio: Meet Patrick

Over the past 12 years, award-winning editor and writer Patrick Hickey Jr. has interviewed some of the biggest names in sports, including David Wright, Martin Brodeur, Negro League Legend Buck O’Neil and MLB Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Mike Schmidt.

Hickey’s passions also transcend sports. He’s interviewed Tony Award Nominee and musician Adam Pascal, actors Channing Tatum, Paul Walker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, while conducting one on ones with comic book writer and artist David Mack, Voice-actor Dana Snyder, as well as Pro Wrestling Legends Daniel Bryan, Harley Race, The Ultimate Warrior, Bob Backlund. His upcoming book from McFarland and Company delves deep into the video game industry, chock full of interviews with legendary developers.

He has also proven himself as a music journalist, interviewing Guns and Roses Drummer Steven Adler, Pantera’s Rex Brown and Creed’s Mark Tremonti.

Hickey was also the Editor-In-Chief of two College Newspapers before he received his BA in Journalism from Brooklyn College. He has had his work published in The New York Daily News, The New York Times, Complex, The Hockey Writers, Yahoo!, Broadway World, Examiner, Bay Currents Newspaper, where he served as the paper’s Sports Editor, the Brooklyn Papers, the Wave of Long Island, Brooklyn Free Press, Blasting News, Tri-Games.net, The Lo-Down, the Brooklyn View, NYSportsday.com, NYSportScene Magazine, ProHockeyNews.com, GothamBaseball.com, The Syracuse Post-Standard, BBallCentral.com, PlayLikeAGirlSports.com, NYCityWatch.org, Scout.com and the official sites of the Brooklyn Aces and New York Islanders.

Hickey is a full-time Lecturer of English and Assistant Director of the Journalism program at Kingsborough Community College and is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of ReviewFix.com. He’s also a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and National Video Games Writer at Examiner.com where his work was mentioned in National Ad campaigns by Disney, Nintendo and EA Sports.

Where To Find Him!

You can follow Patrick on Twitter, and I encourage you to go check out his website “Review Fix” and his constant updates on news, not just Indie games, but all kinds of interesting articles.

Review Fix EIC Patrick Hickey Jr., author, The Minds Behind the Games, voice of @ThePadreGame, Lecturer, @KCCBrooklyn, Josie’s Dad.

What Does Patrick say?

How did the book come to be?

I’m a full-time college professor at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn. It’s a wonderful place and rewarding. But even at full-time, you’re only working four days a week usually, which means plenty of down time to do other things. I’ve owned my own site for almost a decade now, ReviewFix.com and have been an editor at NBC and wrote for over 30 other publications. Writing is a huge part of my life, but with my wife pregnant, I felt I had to cross stuff off my bucket list before my daughter was born.

One of those things was writing Pro Hockey again for a year and a did that from June 2016-July of this year. The other thing was to write a book. Away from Hockey and pro wrestling, video games have always been a huge driving force in my downtime. I own over 30 consoles and 2000 games and counting. I’ve covered major devs at NBC and Examiner and indie games galore at RF, but I wanted to do something different.

At the heart of my love of journalism is interviewing. I love speaking with people. So I decided this book was going to focus on the behind the scenes stories of as many games as I could. With the idea decided, I sent out six pitches- David Crane, Garry Kitchen, Jon Van Caneghem, Michael Mendeim, Howard Scott Warshaw and Greg Johnson, I believe. These guys made some of the most influential games I’d ever played, Yars’ Revenge, ToeJam N Earl, Mutant League Football and so many more. I felt if half of them got back to me, I’d at least have a start. Within a week, they all agreed. That’s when I knew I had something special.

Over the next seven months or so I just kept adding people and now I have a book waiting to be published with 36 games featured. I cannot wait for people to read this and find out all about these wonderful games.

Why is the book special?

This book reads like an ESPN 30 For 30, well that’s at least what Brian Mazique from Forbes said when he read the sample chapter I sent him. But I agree, haha. Simply put, it’s the most selfless thing I’ve ever done. It’s got a clear motive and that’s to educate, entertain and inform you on all of these games. There’s opinion in it, but it’s mainly for contextual purposes, to let you know why the game is special. At its heart, it’s an anthology of interviews with video game developers that made impacts, big and small. Definitely a worthwhile read for fans of the industry and anyone who wants a look behind the big green curtain.

How did you get involved in the video game industry?

It started by doing all the interviews I do. Every day I speak to developers about their projects. Over the phone, Skype, text, e-mail. Dave Wishnowski, who is the creator of Pro Wrestling X, asked me if I wanted to beta test his game and I said yes simply because I believed in him and the project.

He’s a great dude. Tons of heart. Next thing you know I’m helping design moves and I may even be doing a voice, but that has everything to do with my work on The Padre.

I could never have predicted the past year. I went from a journalist, to a father, author and now voice-actor, all without giving up anything. Talk about having your cake.

It’s scary how the voice acting thing happened. Goddamn Twitter, all your fault. I saw a GIF of this voxelized priest being attacked by a tree and naturally I emailed the developer like I usually do, to ask for an interview. I then was introduced to one of my favorite people in the world, Bence Zilhaly. We did an email Q and A and we’ve basically spoken every day since.

After the interview, in which I’m pretty sure I was their first, I was asked to play the game. Of course I obliged. The game is uber pretty. I was instantly impressed, by I knew right off the bat the game’s dialogue could be improved grammatically. Being an English professor, I offered my services. Once we agreed to a price for my services, it dawned on me. This is my first paying job in the video game industry. I was editing Kickstarter pages, press releases, websites, OMG, just amazing stuff. Totally content.

Then it happened. Bence messages me and tells me our voice actor had to leave the project. He asked me then if I knew any voice actors. Of course I did. But I had that light bulb moment. Holy crap, dude. You can do this. I’ve been fiddling with voices my entire life. I’ve been singing for years. In another life I was in a few bands. I may haven’t taken great care of my whole body, but my voice, yes. So I auditioned. I went into my little man cave, the same room I came up with the idea to write my book and I came up with this deep English baritone. Two hours later and Bence messaged me back and said I was The Padre. A few hours later I’m playing the game and I hear my voice. Tears. Days later and people are messaging me and writing reviews about my voice acting. Weeks later and I have another role and I have an agent. Talk about a whirlwind. It’s insane. I love it. It’s chaotic but that’s life. It’s amazing.

Any advice?

Go to College. Meet people. Participate. Don’t be quiet. Share your talents. Be humble but don’t forget to promote yourself. Walk that line. Don’t be scared to be rebellious. I’m the first college graduate in my family. I wasn’t supposed to be successful. I have to remind myself daily that I earned every thing I have and that I haven’t been given a thing. That’s what makes all of us special. Understanding ourselves and knowing what we have to do every day to be successful. Don’t be scared to take chances every day. In the end, all of my successes come from taking chances- applying to be a professor despite how young I was and still am. Asking a beautiful woman I thought I had no shot with out on a date- that I later married. Asking to do a voice in a game. Submitting an idea to a recognized publisher. Take those chances. Sometimes they only come along once.