What's Up With CatanFusion?


{background birds chirping/atmospheric effects}

Jake: "This is the CatanQuest podcast, and I'm your host, Jake. In this episode, I will be interviewing founder, Kent Slocum, about his plans for the future of CatanFusion. In the next episode, we'll cover how to precisely pronounce the game's name and a little history, but in this episode, I'll wrap up our session with a quick summary of what's happening in the world of Catan.  Okay, let's jump right into it. Kent, thanks so much for joining me on this podcast today."

Kent: "No problem, it was a pleasure!"

Jake: "It WAS a pleasure? What about right now?"

Kent: "Well, I'm not so sure now. I'm thinking I should have put someone else in charge of the CatanFusion podcast, someone with a little more humility."

Jake: "What do you mean? I think I'm the perfect person for this job!"

Kent: "My point exactly."

Jake: "Point taken. Alright, I know you're very busy, so let's get down to business. Apparently, you've been a fan of Catan for some time. When did this obsession start?"

Kent: "Well, I wouldn't call it an obsession. It's more of a hobby, really."

Jake: "But you take it way more seriously than most people."

Kent: "Yeah, I DO take it pretty seriously. For example, I spent last summer working at a retreat center in Auburn, Washington. Over the entire summer, the staff only played Catan once, and I was the only one who knew all the rules."

Jake: "What version did they play?"

Kent: "The basic 4-player version, of course. They had no idea there even WERE other expansions."

Jake: "Which is kind of the point of CatanFusion, right?"

Kent: "Right. I think, if it was easier to learn the rules, and all of the different rule sets worked together, people would be more willing to give some of the other Catan expansions a try."

Jake: "But first they have to know they exist, right?"

Kent: "Yes."

Jake: "How did you decide to do a full website, though? What was your thought process for that?"

Kent: "Well, I had been working on a Word Document that sort of collected all the best house rules from the internet into one place. But this document was huge: I mean, somewhere like 160 pages. And it was just a huge block of text and little pictures. So, it wasn't doing me or anyone else any good."

Jake: "Uh-huh... "

Kent: "At that point, I didn't really have time to think about it much, because I was a full-time student at the University of Oregon. But then this class assignment came up, and I was supposed to create my own website."

Jake: "Had you ever made your own website before?"

Kent: "Well, yes, but it was WIX.com, so I wasn't doing the HTML or anything. But I thought for this project, why not combine homework and hobby? So I figured out how to use Joomla, which is this competitor to Wordpress, and I made this really robust website that I started filling out with content."

Jake: "How long did that take you?"

Kent: "Well, it's still not really done. I have to create the content when I'm not working on something else, so it's a long process. But I'm determined to finish it, because I know it will make it possible for me AND others to access valuable information about how to play a truly universal game of Catan."

Jake: "Well, how did the school assignment turn out?"

Kent: "Well, everyone else used one of those  free, simple drag-and drop editors like WIX, Squarespace, or Stunningly, so my website certainly wasn't as flashy as theirs. But I think to think that mine will be around for a lot longer."

Jake: "Why's that?"

Kent: "A lot of them did the bare minimum on their websites to let them pass the class. But this is not a short-term thing for me: I'm in it for the long haul."

Jake: "So going forward, what can people expect from CatanFusion?"

Kent: "That's a good question, and I'm glad I have a good answer. For one thing, CatanFusion's site is going to start featuring a lot more imaged. Photography is a very time-consuming task, so I haven't done as much yet as I would like. But there's also going to be regular video updates, blog posts, walk-through guides, and podcasts like this one."

Jake: "Speaking of podcasts, here's a question I've been dying to ask. Do you have any plans for a theme song?"

Kent: "You mean, for CatanFusion, or just this podcast?"

Jake: "Well, it could be for both, but it's got be something catchy, like, you know, Ghostbusters!"

Kent: "Well, it's all in my head right now. I mean, there's nothing orchestrated or recorded at this point. It's just some tunes and melodies I've been humming and whistling to myself."

Jake: "Well, can you at least describe it to me? I'm sure our listeners would love to hear what you've got so far."

Kent: "Well, I'm not sure how to describe it. It's sort of like disco, sort of like action-adventure soundtrack."

Jake: "Do you...do you listen to a lot of that kind of music?"

Kent: "Yeah, I mean, soundtrack, instrumental jazz, stuff like that."

Jake: "So what would you say is your favorite soundtrack?"

Kent: "Well, you've got to understand, I'm not talking about the pop songs they put into movies. I'm talking about the musical score that plays in the background during movies. If it's a good enough piece, you won't even notice the music when you're watching the movie."

Jake: "Give us a demonstration, at least!"

Kent: "Oh, all right. Okay, here goes: Well, there's a podcast I know, where Catan fans go. It's called Catan!Fusion. Catan!Fusion. About an awesome game with a tricky name called Catan!Fusion. Catan!Fusion. And everyone agrees that it's the bees-knees. It's Catan!Fusion."

Jake: "Wow, that's really interesting. Did I detect some inspiration from The Flinstones?"

Kent: "Possibly."

Jake: "Well, if you had some...if you had more instruments, would you actually record that?"

Kent: "It would need some refinement, of course. And copyright protection."

Jake: "Of course. How did you decide upon calling this podcast CatanQuest? Why not just call it The Official CatanFusion Podcast?"

Kent: "Well, I certainly couldn't call it Official, because that may imply that this podcast is created by the actual Catan brand, which is certainly not true. I have to be very careful about that. But the whole Quest part of the name just means that the podcast really searches for some of the deeper meanings and more off-topic conversations that the main website doesn't address."

Jake: "So what are some titles for this podcast that you considered, but ultimately rejected?"

Kent: "Let's see. I thought about calling it CatanMan, then maybe Catanical Ponderings..."

Jake: "That sounds very academic and a bit nerdy."

Kent: "Yeah, so then I thought Fusion Intrusion, or Fusion Musings, or Fusion Inclusion."

Jake: "But you settled upon CatanQuest."

Kent: "Yes. I'll see how it goes."

Jake: "Well, that about concludes this episode of the CatanQuest podcast. But before I say goodbye to our listeners and my special guest, let me catch you up on some Catan news. This month, Legend of the SeaRobbers celebrates its 9-month anniversary of release. It must be selling well, because you bought one, Kent.

Kent: "Well, I almost didn't, because the price was really high. But then they offered me a free Catan necktie if I also purchased the expansion set. So that sealed the deal for me."

Jake: "And you are wearing it right now, if I am not mistaken."

Kent: "That's correct; it's got all of these little blue boats from Seafarers on it, which look like dots from a ways away."

Jake: "Wow, time has flown! Thank you, Kent, for coming in today, and thank YOU, listeners, for doing what you do best: listening."

Kent: "No problem, Jake. Thanks for having me."

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