Comedy + Esports = Good Game

Ahead of the first-ever Cynopsis Esports Master Class on September 15, aimed at breaking down the essential elements and opportunities in an exploding business, Esports Content & Chairperson Chris Pursell got the goods on a new esports-themed comedy from Dan Harmon.
 
With a tenderness that echoes the relationship between the sci-fi genre and Adult Swim’s smash Rick and Morty, YouTube Red opened the doors to Dan Harmon’s latest project with Good Game. The show features Game Grumps duo Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson, along with a cast that includes Michele Morrow, Michael Ornstein, Rahul Abburi, Jade Payton and Oliver Cooper following an underdog team looking to strike it rich as pros in the fictional game Killcore. The series was created Morrow and Jesse Cox, and executive produced by Harmon, Michael Waldron, Steve Levy and Jen Roskind, and along with Hanson and Lilley. Morrow and Cox also serve as executive producers. Morrow shared a few behind-the-scenes secrets about the show…
 
 
 
goodgame
 
Killcore was created on a StarCraft II engine: Killcore came to be because when we were first pitching around the show idea, a lot of people that we were meeting with wanted us to partner with a AAA video game title such as League of Legends or Dota 2. Jesse and I felt that, if we did that, it would no longer really be a story about a band of misfits coming together and trying to make it against the big dogs and instead it would be about League of Legends. We went all out in creating Killcore, putting together a giant pitch and treated it exactly like we would if we were making an actual video game, creating all the characters, abilities, voice lines, everything. We hooked up with an art director named Mark Gibbons who really understood what we were looking for, which was to make fun of the world of MOBAs while also celebrating it. We ended up going to Blizzard Entertainment, where I have a good relationship obviously, and they granted us permission to build the game on a StarCraft II engine.
 
Terry Crews was a dream cameo: Terry was a dream come true. One day we were talking about who we were going to cast and we had some many people coming in for all the roles. For the caster roles, I remember writing one day in all caps,” PLEASE GOD TERRY CREWS!” I never thought that would come to life but one day we got an email that said we put an offer out to Terry Crews and he was totally excited about doing it. I think I fainted and he was the nicest guy.
 
Some of the casting scenes were inspired by real-life experiences: There’s been so many times when you would do an event and while it looks like this big endeavor, when really it was just at a rec center. It would look big online but it wasn’t as big of an event in person. Of course, that has been changing as esports has been growing, but we wanted to show that even though it looks glamorous, it was important to see that sometimes you are casting between two bathrooms. For me, I’ve interview so many different people and you get so many different personality types, and with men you sometimes get the guy who barely even talks at all, but other times you get the guy who corrects you constantly and doesn’t let you talk. I’ve had experiences multiple times with people who assumed I didn’t know what I was talking about just because I was a woman.
 
(For more on esports, subscribe to the free weekly Cynopsis esports newsletter: http://www.cynopsis.com/subscribe/.)
 

 The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at [email protected].

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