My name is Robert, but most people call me Hat, a nickname I picked up during my time in the Marine Corps, which corresponds to the first three letters of my last name. The role I fulfill here is to assist where needed, but I also operate a weekly RPG podcast on a YouTube channel called Phoenix Edge. During the day, I am buried deep in QuickBooks as an accountant, but most evenings you will find me recording podcasts, editing videos, moderating the Resonant Arc YouTube Channel Discord or playing video games. In a former life, I also enjoyed exercising, writing music and reading, but these days I primarily stick to YouTube and gaming as my preferred interests.
On that note, my deep affection for RPGs began on my eighth birthday, when my grandmother gifted me a Final Fantasy VII strategy guide. While this gift idea was well intentioned, she did not realize that the book itself was created to compliment a video game I did not own. In an effort to appease a disappointed kid on his birthday, my father rushed me to Toys'R'Us where he purchased me Final Fantasy VII. Little did I know how special this game would become to me, or that I would still derive enjoyment out of it twenty-two years later. I can still remember how enamored I became with the idea of not just interacting with, but exploring this complex world, with what seemed like cutting edge graphics at the time.
Needless to say, the game had a tremendous impact on me, and I needed to play more of this new RPG genre that I had discovered. This journey led me to taking part in the RPG Toolkit and RPG Maker community as a teenager, where I spent countless nights discussing the finer points of RPG mechanics and game design with my fellow creators online. Fast-forward to early 2017 in which I met my podcast co-hosts Eric and Stan, while taking part in a live stream of Final Fantasy XII on the Resonant Arc/Dark Pixel Gaming YouTube channel. During these few months, we had many conversations that brought back memories of when I was a teenager, debating what elements were necessary for a stellar RPG. After the stream ended, we decided to continue that conversation as a video podcast on the Phoenix Edge YouTube channel, where we eventually were humbled with the opportunity of partnering with RPGFan.