Am I the only one here that played Final Fantasy? The original Final Fantasy. Like, pre-Tactics. For those
of us who still have waking nightmares about fighting Warmech in the Flying Fortress, let me ask you
this: what was the makeup of YOUR party?
To be clear, I don’t mean the optimal party balance for completing the game. [Fighter, Black Belt, White
Mage, Black Mage, obvs]. I’m talking about the weird-ass party you busted out on playthrough number
five. You remember that run, the time you wondered if four Red Mages could beat the game. Or three
fighters led by a thief—the ol’ Robin Hood gambit. Could three white mages use enough healing magic
and buffs to keep one unstoppable black belt alive?
No. Of course not. Those teams all sucked, and you died because you sucked. You dreamed big, and
then Tiamat picked his teeth with your future. Sure, we all loved Vivi in FF9, but deep down we know
our love was wrapped in a package made from the broken bodies of those poor black mages we
equipped with swords. Down the boutique-party path, there is only ruin.
Thinking about party composition got me considering the team here at GASM. Making media isn’t a job
for four fighters. Not every problem is an imp waiting to get bashed. No, the better play is to mix up the
team’s skill set and, especially, the team’s point of view.
Take Brian Smawley, for example. Brian is our social media manager and office assistant. He’s big, surly,
and required by his job title to tell you when your idea is dumb and the internet will hate it. Fighter.
Megan Manning, our lead editor, is a badass of the highest order. That is, until you mention Pokemon or
Neko Atsume, when suddenly it’s squee city. And I’ve seen her raise too dead footage back to life in the
editing room. White Mage.
Kyle Small, our post-production expert and editor, is a black mage… um. A black belt. A thief. Jesus.
MONK! Kyle is a Monk. He’s all offense and he never quits. He’s got skills tucked away that you never
even knew about. Need a portal to a dark dimension drawn into your scene on the fly? He can knock
that out before lunch. Total attack. Monk.
Sammie Osburn runs the show. She points the ship toward harbor and keeps us from setting it on fire
for fun. She keeps the vision of where GASM is heading, while some of us [me] are stuck deciding if the
sketch needs one more fart joke or two. But she’s also a presence on set. And she’s often been our
salesperson, point of contact, morale booster, and cosplay enthusiast. She does a little bit of everything.
Anybody that reads my writing knows that I’m a thief.
Kidding! In a legally non-actionable way! But for real, I can be surly like Brian, but I try to do my fighting
behind the scenes. No spotlight for me, by design. Thief it is.
Bam, party composition. Whatever crosses our paths, we’ve got a solution ready to go. Someone can
handle it. And when all of us are on it, holy crap. Things are good. Well, good enough for me to be able
to sit here and riff on Final Fantasy 1 as my very actual job. Wait til you guys see what’s next.
Screw Warmech, though. In his stupid techno-cannon hole.