Here I interview CakeofRage, who voices Surprise/Asphodel in Scoot Hard DX/Project Absentia, and will be voicing Roshni, an important character in Project Absentia, as well. She also helps with some of the lore, specifically with the Atmosphere family and the mythology of the worlds.
Cake has written fanfictions before, and has helped with some of the lore for the abandoned Daytime Drama 2 – which has since been reincorporated as parts of Project Absentia. She’s dabbled a lot in fandom.
Sanya: First off, yes. We know. We get it. You like the Atmosphere family.
Cake: Shush xD
Sanya: In all seriousness, how did you and I meet? I forget, it was something to do with discourse on Tumblr if memory serves correctly.
Cake: I remember Tumblr and Deviantart, but it sort of blurs together… If I think about it, it makes sense that it was Tumblr first? 2015-2016 was around the time I was trying to change my way of thinking about things… I think the chain of events started with a discourse blog who was friends with Taka, who was friends with you? Wait hold on, I’m pretty sure Danganronpa was somewhere in the process because of the first Daytime Drama game. There are some missing puzzle pieces here and it’s gonna bother me if I think too hard about it…
Sanya: We’ll get back to Scoot Hard DX and Project Absentia in a bit… But first, tell us a bit about yourself.
Cake: This is always the hardest question, isn’t it? I like (mostly mainstream) anime and cartoons, plushies, pink, possums, and cats. I think I’m a basic bitch. I have a lot rattling around in my head and I think it shows. I tend to go off on tangents. A lot. And I talk too much. I feel emotions very, very strongly, and most of the time I can’t immediately translate them into words (which is the reason I wish I had expressive body parts, like a tail or wings). Because of this, I’m better at communicating when memes, emojis/emotes, and reaction images are involved. (I’m doing my best to answer these with as little of those as possible, of course!) Also I love love… if my shipping habits didn’t already make that glaringly obvious.
Sanya: What’s the origin of your name “CakeofRage”
Cake: Sometimes my hyperfixations + boredom make a Very Interesting mix. But long story short: found some trivia on an item in the Johto Pokemon games (Rage Candy Bar) about how it could have been localized as a pun on the in-game location, Lake of Rage, as “Cake of Rage.” And here we are. I think it’s kinda funny how one of my first interests stuck with me for so long and shaped my online identity.
Sanya: How did you get into voice acting?
Cake: I’ve had interest in doing vocal stuff in the past (mostly song covers), but I didn’t really think of myself as being good enough to voice a character until you recruited me to be Navy in DD2. I’m gonna be honest… I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do now. My voice for Navy was just my regular voice, and ironically, the sound of my own natural speaking voice makes me cringe so hard. Trying to sound like something else, though? That’s much more tolerable, and much more fun.
Sanya: Do you have any hobbies? If so, tell us.
Cake: I draw fanart and design OCs. I write too, just not long projects like I used to do; writing is writing, though, and I’m grateful for the ability to paint a picture with my words! I also sing, for fun and to soothe myself. I’m not exactly the greatest, but I do like seeing what I can do with my voice.
Sanya: Scoot Hard DX (And Project Absentia), like it’s inspiration – is gory, over the top and has themes dealing with fascism, among other things. A lot of people claim this stuff should be heavily regulated – either by the government or at a corporate level. What do you think as a content creator of such things?
Cake: Simply put, humans are biased. Bias dictates decisions, and what’s a government official or head of a corporation going to decide what counts as inappropriate? Besides, stories like this have been told since the beginning of human history. Old fairytales used to be dark and gritty by today’s standards, but they reflected real life situations and consequences. They were stories people could relate to in some ways. Why fix what’s not broken? Why take away from others what you personally don’t like? Why bother engaging in content you don’t like?
Sanya: What do you do for a dayjob?
Cake: I live in the hell known as retail. Send help.
Sanya: What do you want to do for a living?
Cake: Hmmmm. I don’t usually think about that, but honestly? I wouldn’t mind voice acting for a living. I have a lot of fun doing it!
Sanya: Your boyfriend is the voice of Dr. Atmosphere and will sometimes just randomly start talking in his voice. That’s funny to me. What’s it like dating someone with such strong bastard energy?
Cake: I don’t think I can describe this more accurately than this: I’m never bored, because I never know what to expect lol. I remember some advice about having a partner who can make you laugh, and I think I lucked out on that one! Even better: he says the gross/dark humor things I think but can’t say out loud. God I love this bastard so much.
Sanya: Scoot Hard DX is your first major role in a public WIS project – as the first boss, Surprise Atmosphere. How does it feel being the voice of an insane CFO that’s gender identity is “insane murderous crackhead”.
Cake: God this is so much fun. It’s the “letting out my inner bastard” for me!
Sanya: What’s your process for getting into character?
Cake: I mostly just talk, really! My process is like 90 percent just fucking around to loosen up. Sometimes I even bitch at noisy weather conditions or cars passing by while I’m recording.
Sanya: Even though you are a voice actress, you have a ton of input on the lore of Project Absentia. Your design for Asphodel (Surprise’s counterpart) was so good. Same with Roshni… You also had a character that we adapted into Sanya’s comrade from Aysburg – Sasha. Have you ever considered becoming a freelance character designer too?
Cake: Until this question, I didn’t really think of it as an option. But that sounds really cool and now I’ll have to think about it!
Sanya: I don’t mean for this to be wordy… but here we go. Scoot Hard DX/Project Absentia has LGBTQ+ themes, but often shows LGBTQ+ characters in shades of grey, rather than what I’d call… “precious smol been uwu”. I feel when I write stuff, it’s more natural and honest to show LGBTQ+ people can be good, bad or downright ugly. I’ve seen some people argue this is bad representation because it shows LGBTQ+ characters as bad. I don’t agree with them, as they’re not bad because they’re part of the alphabet. What do you think about that?
Cake: If the characters have depth and motivation beyond a single trait, it’s good writing. It’s realistic.
To avoid being too wordy, I’m just gonna say this: I’ll take “realistically and respectfully written villains who just happen to be queer” over “no story for this hero, only gay stereotypes” any day.
Sanya: How does it feel being part of a team as diverse as ours – in the truest sense, not in the corporate “safe” sense.
Cake: Certainly interesting!
Sanya: Waffle Iron Studios has a tendency to have a ton of in-jokes. What’s your favorite in-joke?
Cake: I’m fucken sorry, man
Sanya: One of the things you and I both struggle with is mental health, and this year has not been the best for either of us – from the political climate, to the COVID-19 outbreak, to just stuff in our personal lives. What’s it like?
“Depressing” is much too simple an answer, and doesn’t really describe what it’s like. It’s sometimes a black hole, sucking me in but also leeching into other parts of my life like a poison. I worry I might poison others with it. It’s so hard not to get caught in a spiral of hopelessness, wondering if anything will ever get better, and fearing the future. Even right now I’m finding this hard to answer, because I want to be candid, but I also don’t want to bring down the mood. I need to be that person who lightens the mood, but realistically, that’s just a lot of pressure to put on myself. I have a lot of work to do, learning how to just… exist.
Some advice: bottling up your feelings and avoiding them aren’t healthy; they always find a way out. You’re human… it’s human to feel. It’s okay to feel hurt, and scared, and tired sometimes.
Sanya: I think you’re awesome, despite the challenges you face, to give it all you got. Don’t let other people tell you otherwise.
Cake: Thank you so much! Likewise! 💜
Sanya: It was through you I found Monaka – who has a voice for a character that hasn’t been properly introduced yet in the Project Absentia mythos. She’s also the voice for Dominika, Sanya’s arch-nemesis in a potential future Daytime Drama sequel/reboot. She’s also a cool friend. How did you two meet?
Cake: The magic of the Tumblr Danganronpa fandom!
Sanya: Most of Blitz/Roshni was your idea. There’s no analog to MLP or Rainbow Factory for this character at all. In fact I believe Roshni was mostly your design. And now she’s becoming a major character with an arc of her own. What was your thought process for coming up with her?
I like making fankids. It makes me happy.
…In all seriousness, that’s almost always my main starting point, but this time I was waiting for you to suggest it because I thought I was going overboard 😂. I have a lot of fankids for ships I like (including another character who ended up being adapted into the Daytime Drama lore)!
For Blitz specifically, I originally had the idea of a character similar to Sally from Black Clover, but somewhere along the way that changed, probably around the time we realized “wait, if we killed her parents… what happens to her?” That’s super tragic. So all that grief eventually turns to anger and a need for revenge; she has someone to blame for losing everything. And while we never actually got to do this before shifting gears to Project Absentia, there was supposed to be a side story about Blitz and a possible redemption arc. And I thought, what if when it was all over, she was just tired of spending a huge chunk of her life angry? She felt like she didn’t deserve to be a pegasus and needed to earn back her wings, so she became a human who was Tired™️ and had a habit of forgetting she was bipedal. (It was at this point I realized a recurring theme with my characters and their need to work to feel worthy again… Oops, all vent characters! /j)
As for where this all translates into Roshni, it’s sort of the same deal; I just needed to adapt her into an angel, so the design was the main focus. I designed what she looks like as a boss first, and it’s drastically different from how she is as a humanized pony. First, I was thinking of what type of wings she had… Basically, I was like “Asphodel’s wings are based on a raven!! Do more corvids!!”
The dark transformation scene during one of the musical numbers in Descendants 3 just hit all the right buttons, so I ended up with “Queen of Mean” on loop for the next week or so while designing Roshni. Her wings ended up being a magpie (a corvid) with the idea of “what if her wings reflected her corruption, like the white feathers being replaced with black?” Magpies have really cool wings. The dress I gave her was based on a gown I’d come across online while looking for inspiration.
This is a lot wordier than originally planned… can’t say I’m feeling too apologetic about it, though.
Tl;dr Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s.
Sanya: You used to do Sims stuff a great deal until you stopped recently. What draws you to that game?
Cake: I used to like watching dramas and soap operas and stuff when I was younger, but after some point I started getting… annoyed, I guess, with the writing, and a lot of the daytime soaps I’d actually enjoyed went off the air years ago. I’d started playing The Sims 2 when I was 12-13, with the dreams of one day making machinimas like the ones on YouTube at the time. I never finished any, obviously, but I still played with a story in my head. Of course, there’s the question of “why not just write it then?” but the answer is simple: coming up with plot is hard, but describing actions and feelings is easy (for me, at least). Why not have the characters act it out themselves?
All of it was just a sweet little bit of escapism for me, acting out my own drama or a fanfic (There’s a reason people used to call it “OTP Puppet Theatre”). I could turn off my brain for a bit and immerse myself in a world of my own. I do miss it a lot, sometimes, especially the sims I made and the stories I’ve gotten attached to. I have to stop myself here or else I’ll go on forever lol.
Sanya: As a developer, game modding is important and a civil liberty we shouldn’t take for granted. It’s one reason I chose GZDoom – the engine itself is very moddable. How do you feel about modding and its effects for content creators?
Cake: You’re talking to the bitch who downloaded a bunch of Sims mods to the point of “my computer is on fire.” I feel like that kind of answers itself lol.
Sanya: I want to state that you’re like a sister to me. You have done a great deal for me. Not just on the project, but over the years as I grow and deal with the world around me. I know shit isn’t the best at times, but you are awesome and have stuck by me through thick and thin. I appreciate you being a part of all this.
Cake: Ahhh stop, you’re making me blush! I’m happy to be a part of all this! I’m so happy I met you. Thank you for showing me just what I’m capable of, thanks for helping me find a purpose in life, and just, thank you in general for being such a wonderful person.
Sanya: Anything else you want to add?
Cake: I keep designing attractive characters. This is the opposite of a problem. I’m not fucken sorry, man
You can find the adorable, very fascinating Cake on Twitter.