Skills and Traits
Rich Matheson is a web designer, graphic designer, and now apparently a sound designer and amateur actor. He holds not only the distinction of attending University for seven years and not graduating, but also for spending that time studying knowledge that he would never use in any meaningful or professional capacity, for the following very good reasons:
- There was no Web during his formative college years
(Thus no way to learn how to design it)
- Art and Computer classes began at 8AM (No frickin' way.)
- Daddy refused to pay for a Major in Theater
So Rich went ahead and Majored in Russian Area Studies with a Minor in Spanish, hoping to translate Russian transmissions from within the bowels of a submarine, and then ask for cervezas on shore leave. (This was during the cold war, you understand.) The fact that Hunt For Red October came out around that time had absolutely nothing to do with this decision. He is also evidently a liar, because Red October was totally the reason (no, seriously... it really, honestly was). Anyway, so the submarine thing didn't pan out (even though he like aced the entrance exam). So he used his innate Speechcraft skills to enter the exciting world of Electronics Sales. He sucked at that. A lot. Not for lack of product knowledge, mind you, but from an ethical aversion to selling extended warranties and a dislike for being told "no" twenty times a day. The only winning move is not to play (WarGames, 1983).
Likes and Dislikes
Rich is an avid if not fanatical sci-fi enthusiast, but he's one of those snobby ones. Kinda like "what he likes, he REALLY likes, and what he can't get into, he doesn't like on general principle". So, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate (and a LOT of things with "Star" in the title with the resounding exception of CMT's Next Superstar) are totally in his wheelhouse. Even Food Network Star is pretty cool. But Doctor Who? Never could get into that. Dunno why. Maybe if it were StarDoctor he would have given it a more thorough shot, if he could get past the ridiculous name.
He is also a near pathological video game enthusiast. Favorite game of all time: the original Deus Ex. Legend says that every time someone says the phrase "Deus Ex", someone else in the world is, at that moment, reinstalling it. He deeply feels in his heart that this must be true. He could reinstall it tonight and still know at least half of the usernames and passwords, the locations of every secret item and hidey-hole... Damn, he loves that game. And you should, too. By the same token: favorite Elder Scrolls game? Might surprise you. You ready? It's Morrowind. First, because it was the first game of its kind, and second because every city in that game was distinct. You took a look outside and you knew exactly where you were. You had to EARN your house; made you feel like part of your faction. Silt striders, dude! FRICKIN' SILT STRIDERS!! How badass was that? And he was blown away by how realistic the water looked. (At the time!) He also apparently enjoys referring to himself in the third person because you totally know he's writing all of this.
Rich also enjoys (in no particular order) Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, Rag Doll Kung-Fu, swinging his lightsaber (no, that is not an innuendo), Star Trek Technical Manuals, Pumpkinhead beer (because he swears it tastes like Pepsi), taking long walks in the city that holds the #6 per capita crime rate in the United States (which is saying a LOT), Looney Tunes, using parentheses in lieu of other punctuation to seperate ideas within a single run-on sentence (which he does with annoying frequency), submarine movies, World War 2 movies, World War 2 history, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mountain Dew, Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Chips, Tootsie Pops, and gardening.
Rich does not like anime, country music, cats, rap, or tickling for reasons which are too numerous (and in some cases, personal) to name. Also, anyone who likes the four of those items will continue to like them regardless, thus he will not attempt to dissuade you if you kindly not give him crap for having a different worldview.
Rich and Audio Drama
Rich listened to old time radio drama when he was a kid. His first one was (duh) the Star Wars radio drama they played on the radio back in '81. He of course missed several episodes because it's difficult for an 8 year-old to come up with a good reason to commandeer the radio at a certain time on a certain day (especially without knowing the broadcast schedule), plus he didn't know what channel NPR was on. He got some cassette tapes of The Shadow and maybe some Sherlock Holmes (everybody talked funny... giggle... so he picked up the accent), and then he got a Superman, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman set (ON VINYL! No Joke! And don't judge me on the Wonder Woman thing; it was a SET. And she was hot. And I was TEN!!) and after that, the appeal faded into history. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half decades, audio drama passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, he was surfing the web for Star Trek stuff and discovered Star Trek: Lost Frontier. And to make a long story short, blah blah blah, joined Darker Projects, yada yada yada and it consumed him. He started out wanting to act, but didn't understand that EVERYONE wanted to act, and he personally had perhaps the crappiest recording hardware known to mankind. And most everyone else did not.
He then discovered The Leviathan Chronicles, and shortly after that We're Alive, and Wormwood, three shows which in his opinion set the bar for unrelenting quality. All of them featured little details, stuff you wouldn't think to put in there, like the squeak of a chair, or the sound of a zipper panning a certain way. Absolutely top-notch work, and Rich thought to himself, "Holy crap, I need to learn to mix this stuff". So he went ahead and did that. His first mixing job was an episode of Darker Projects' Five Minute Fears called "Lucky Guy". The episode lasts roughly two minutes, and took him about two months to complete. And when the dust settled and the arduous battle was done, he looked around and said to himself, in a very Neo-like fashion... "More."
So he did more mixing and was happy with his new hobby. Then he heard about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and just about lost his shit. The man was inconsolable. Weeping openly, hugging his son and saying, "Boy, we're going back HOME!". The wait was intolerable. He played the teaser trailer several thousand times. Played it on his frickin' phone in the car on auto-repeat for crying out loud. Something had to be done to quell this insanity. His answer was to make a Skyrim audio drama even though Skyrim wouldn't be released for another seven months and having no idea what it was about other than that dragons would be somehow involved. It was genius. Because all those hours upon hours he spent mixing were hours he didn't spend urinating himself in impotent anticipation. And as a public service, he shared his works with his fellow fans who, at the same moment, were freaking the hell out as well. It was a placebo. Something to soothe Skyrim-mania (in addition to replaying Oblivion non-stop for like the millionth time). Seriously, people. It's like a drug.
And that's how Keeg's Quest got made.