This Thursday at 9PM Pacific Quantum Drive kicks off its third season on The Base, Star Citizen’s premier online radio station. I thought I would catch up with the creator and producer, Jimi Croker, to learn a little bit more about the show and what’s in store for his main character Jaxsun, this season. Be sure to check out the preview after the interview!
An interview with the creator of Quantum Drive
For our readers who may not be familiar with you; how, when and why did you get into Star Citizen?
I’ve always been a Sci-Fi and Science fact fan and space travel has always been a fascination of mine. I saw A New Hope in theaters when it was released (was one of my earliest memories) and like a lot of kids, it lit a spark in me that never burned out. That fascination with space just started burned brighter and hotter as I got older.
So naturally I was a huge fan of Star Wars Galaxies; one of the few true sand-box developed MMO’s to ever exist. The game, released in 2003, was quickly eclipsed by WoW which set a standard in MMO’s that everyone (including SWG) quickly fell in line behind. WoW is much more on rails so to speak, offering little in the way of a simulated universe. So when Star Wars The Old Republic was released (20011) following the same WoW game play model I realized my love for a virtual universe that I could live in (not just play a game) was most likely never going to be a reality.
I played SWTOR for a while, settling into the fact that this was my virtual reality (or lack there of) but I was always looking at what was coming next.
I found Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous a few months before Area Commander went live (April 2014-ish) and since I didn’t like playing just a ship (I’d done some time in EvE) I decided to start paying attention to Star Citizen and when Arena Commander launched I was hooked on the promise of what was to come and I’ve never looked back.
I was aware of who Chris Roberts was but honestly, I’d never played Wing Commander; I was just looking for the best damn space sim out there and…. well, I found it.
Can you describe Quantum Drive?
My Character (Jaxsun) walks the line between legitimate hauler and data runner and not so much legitimate hauler and data runner, making a living day by day in the verse. He’s also a hacker who created a virus that when introduced to a data array causes a cascading affect that allows for him to broadcast across the whole of the spectrum.
So what does one do with that kind of power?
Play killer music and tell amazing stories of course!
Where did the inspiration for Quantum Drive come from?
The Base Radio had posted on twitter that they were looking for DJ’s and this immediately appealed to the musician in me. I’m also extremely passionate about music, spending a large chunk of my adult life in and out of bands so… Star Citizen and music? Why not! Seemed a great fit.
I’d been doing the Versecast podcast and while I love news related to Star Citizen (and the whole crew at TGwS) but doing a show like Quantum Drive really captured my imagination. It was also something I’d not seen or heard coming out of the community so the show’s concept looked to be something worthwhile to pursue.
I took a week to mull over what exactly I wanted to do and after NOT hearing a roll-play based show on The Base, Quantum Drive quickly took shape.
I did a dry run w/Ricko and Rellim to see if this was something for the station and the rest is history.
The show is a mix of lore, roleplay, and music but for someone who’s never heard it, what kind of music can they expect to hear on Quantum Drive?
The bead and butter of the show is Rock & Roll but that’s a very broad brush to paint with and I have fairly eclectic tastes so while you’ll typically hear bands are current as Arctic Monkeys or are retro as The Doors you’ll also hear a little Country, Blues, R&B, Disco, Electronica, Hip-Hop, etc…. Basically anything that fits the shows sensibilities or the stories narrative.
I love challenging the audience so it’s not uncommon to hear something out of left field in the play list.
What are the biggest challenges with the production?
Depends on the episode really.
Some shows I get writer’s block since the show revolves around my character actually doing a pirate radio broadcast in fiction and in game. I tend to lean heavily on the lore CIG has created in order to stay true to their vision while still telling my own stories but the “my own stories” part can be tough at times. The arc is actually a massive help for me in that respect as I tend to flesh out stories based on my jumps from point A to point B.
Other times the story comes easily but the music takes a bit more time.
It’s important to me that I recycle as few songs as possible so once you get past that core group of say 300-400 songs you love, it can be a challenge digging in and finding new stuff that I not only enjoy, but also fits the vibe of the show.
It’s weird because one week the songs may come quicker than the story and the next week the opposite is true with the story almost written entirely while I struggle to find just the right songs.
What’s your over-arching vision for the series?
I have a great idea for the conclusion of the show but I have a few more seasons left before I get there (and I don’t want to spoil it!). But for now data-running, smuggling, exploring, and getting in and out of trouble is Jaxson’s life. Oh and also hacking into data arrays to share groovy tunes from ancient earth archives!
What can we look forward to this season?
The show is back this Thursday night 9PM PST and things are not going well for Jaxsun. The first half (at least) of this season w/have Jaxsun very much down on his luck. It’s not an easy life in the ‘Verse and Jaxsun is paying a heavy price in the opening shows as a result of taking one too many chances.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Quantum Drive usually does 13 episodes per season, I then re-run those 13 shows which gives me a break and time to build out new stories and set-lists. The show itself can be serialized with one show tying into another but I tend to not go past 4 shows intertwining so people can jump in late to the show if they missed a few episodes. Quantum Drive is live everything Thursday night 9PM PST and re-run Saturday 1PM and Thursday 6AM (also PST) so there’s a few different times to catch it on the base if Thursday night is not a good time for you. Also, IMO Quantum Drive is best when listened too while in Star Citizen so log in a get your space sim on while listening!
Below is a little seek peak of “Enemy Territory” the first show back, see you all in the verse!