Patrick Hickey Jr is a dynamo. He’s the author of the excellent “Minds Behind the Games” retro gaming book series (http://patrickhickeyjr.com/ ), owner and editor-in-chief of the independent comic book company Legacy Comix (https://www.legacycomix.com/ ) as well as creator of the awesome Condrey series (https://www.legacycomix.com/tag/condrey/), and a family man.
I was very surprised to learn he also did voice acting for the super-fun Atari VCS exclusive BPM Boy by RetroNinja (https://www.retroninja.com/bpmboy), performing as the main villain DJ Git Bizy! We don’t often get to learn about the voice acting aspect of video game design, and I had questions. Patrick generously agreed to a quick e-mail Q&A, which I am sharing here. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Let’s jump right in.
Q: You voiced DJ Git Bizy in BPM Boy. Did you do any other characters in the game?
PHJ: Just the narration for the trailers when needed away from that.
Q: How did you get the gig? Do you know Tony Barnes?
PHJ: I've known Tony for a few years. Amazing guy. He wrote the forward to my Minds Behind Sega Genesis book and we chat all the time. Tons of respect for his near 40-year career in gaming. Knowing him has been a pleasure.
Q: How much time did it take? All done in one sitting?
PHJ: Not in one sitting. Lots of back and worth. I'd say about six sittings- about an hour a shot. The voice is a blast to do, but it requires energy and no distractions haha. With two kids sometimes, that's not easy.
Q: Was a script provided? Any ad-libbing?
PHJ: Yes, Tony is a pro- so always a script, but I've learned from the best voice actors that I've interviewed and worked with over the years, like Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and you've got to ad-lib and make every character your own. So there's a lot of that in there too.
Q: Where did you record your parts? In your home, in a studio, or ???
PHJ: A little bit of both. I have a great microphone and my mancave works awesome as a makeshift studio. I also have access to a recording lab that I use from time to time. Q: What was your favorite thing about working on BPM Boy?
PHJ: The game is a tribute to Tony's mom and Marble Madness. Add in Tony's underrated ability as a composer and it's a sleeper gem that I believe deserves a ton of play. Working with Tony and watching it progress from concept to finished game was the best part. The fact that one of my comic book artists (I own and serve as the Editor-In-Chief of Legacy Comix, https://www.legacycomix.com/), Valentin Quinones contributed the cover art and some other art really made me feel like I played a part in this.
Q: What was it like to hear and see your character come to life in the game? What do your kids think?
PHJ: It was great and it was my first time playing a villain, so total bucket list :). My kids love the character. He's silly so they always laugh when they hear his voice.
Q: Have you played the finished game on the VCS or any other platform?
PHJ: I don't own a VCS unfortunately but have seen the game in various forms. I'd love to own it on the console one day.
Q: What do you think DJ Git Bizy's favorite track is?
PHJ: Something with a lot of scratching and bass. I'd say, DJ Kool's Let Me Clear My Throat might be up there.
Q: Did you have any involvement with the game designers? For example, did they show you animations to help get you in the right mindset?
PHJ: Oh yeah, Tony did an amazing job of keeping me in the loop. It was one of my best experiences as a voice actor to date. Having interviewed him for so many of my Minds Behind the Games books (http://patrickhickeyjr.com/) definitely helped me get comfortable with how he worked. I think we killed it.
Q: Which other games have you done voice acting for? I know of WrestleQuest and World Championship Boxing Manager II. Any others upcoming?
PHJ: I'm the main character in Feardemic's The Padre series. That's on Steam and all major consoles. Tons of small indies like The Kaiju Offensive and even more trailers, Relentless Rex and Roniu's Tale immediately come to mind.
Q: Final questions - tell us how far back you go with retro gaming. First system? Favorite game?
PHJ: The first system I ever owned was the NES- I was born in '83. My favorite game is impossible to answer, but I'd say probably Fallout 3, Final Fantasy VII, NHLPA 93, Pokemon Red, and Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 are my Mount Rushmore. My favorite Atari game ever is probably Food Fight :)
Q: I lied -- one more: What is your favorite drink at Dunkin Donuts?
PHJ: Large Iced, Black, Three Pumps of Caramel and Mocha.
Another HUGE thank you to Patrick for his time and thoughtful replies. Please do check out his books, Legacy Comix, and BPM Boy for the Atari VCS! Links once again are below.
“Minds Behind the Games” books: http://patrickhickeyjr.com/
Legacy Comix: https://www.legacycomix.com/
BPM Boy: https://www.retroninja.com/bpmboy
And finally, BPM Boy may soon be available via Steam. Check it out and add it to your wish list. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2130280/BPM_Boy/
(Also, many thanks to @Sabertoothfor guidance, encouragement, and editing)