Recently, I got to watch the premiere episode of a new animated series coming from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco and New Form called Lion’s Blaze. As a huge fan of video games and RPG’s, it’s always fun to see the culture that I have immersed myself in for years be the subject of satire and this one is incredibly funny.
The series, created by Olan Rogers, tells the story of a group of friends who have been stuck inside the same video game for 15 years. Olan’s previous animated pilot Final Space landed him a development deal with TBS. I got to ask Olan questions about his new series Lion’s Blaze, the characters Dexter and Max and what games inspired him to create this animated comedy.
DG: What was your inspiration in telling the story at the heart of Lion’s Blaze?
OR: It’s based on a true story of when my friend Jake and I were playing Diablo 2. We spent ten hours trying to defeat this boss and it freaking felt like we Tron-ed ourselves in that game.
DG: What is your storytelling process? Do you bounce ideas off of others or do you have the whole story mapped out in your head?
OR: A bit of both. I love to come up with an idea solo first, map it out and then bounce it off other people after that. Talking through any idea and getting notes only makes it better.
DG: Are there any specific games that you had in mind when you were conceiving the story?
OR: Diablo 2, Skyrim and Zelda
DG: Are any of the characters inspired by yourself or people you know in real life?
OR: Dexter and Max are literally my friend Jake and I who actually voice the characters.
DG: What would be the dream format for Lion’s Blaze to release on?
OR: I’ve been loving working with TBS, but if not them I think Amazon would be great.
DG: Will we ever get to see the characters in the real world before they entered the game?
OR: Yes, actually I have a whole back story of how they got in there. It would be set up a little like how LOST did it.
DG: I love the character dynamics between Max and Dexter, How do you see it evolving over time?
OR: I love the idea of showing all shades of a friendship. I would love to see them not evolve to not even being friends only to have them become better friends. I def. want to see that conflict real friends have sometimes.
DG: Finally, If you had your pick of any animated property to do your own version of, what would it be?
OR: Original X-Men
You can watch the pilot episode of Lion’s Blaze on Olan’s Youtube channel and Final Space will be coming to TBS in early 2018.
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