I would feel guilty about writing a non-content post like this if I hadn’t just written a pretty decent one yesterday… ^_~. I definitely wanted to get some thoughts out there, because I believe it is extremely important to be transparent and open with how projects are going. If you are here and reading, you probably care and probably want to know… right?
This is one of my favorite parts of having this site around, and is something I had wanted to do for years (being that I wanted to just have a regular ol’ gaming blog). While this site was launched as a combination blog/podcast offering, I think it is very important to have both and I try to put just as much preparation and effort into one as I do the other. Blog entries are also things I can do from work, from home, while on the road… Sure, this is all obvious stuff, but I also think it’s worth actually saying (typing?) aloud to re-enforce that it’s available to me whenever, and I can, should, and will have fun doing it!
As the e-mails and blog comments have indicated, some of you are wondering when the next podcast is coming out. That’s a good question! The holiday season, traveling, etc. ended up killing off the December show, and now we are coming to the end of January. D’oh! Back when I was a much younger Mike running websites as a teenager, a two month period seemed like an absolute eternity. Now-a-days (especially in the midst of a house purchase), two months goes by like… well… picture me snapping my fingers here. There ya’ go. Just like that. I’m not sure that our plans for December’s/January’s episode even make sense any more (a reflection back on 1998’s games… ya’ know, looking back at ten years ago) simply because now we’re into 2009, and Retronauts ended up getting out an episode on it, themselves. We have plenty of topics we have tossed around to each other (Jeff is dying to do a show about game soundtracks), but is there anything in particular you would like to hear the group discuss?
Speaking of which, does the format of the show interest you? Don’t take that question as meaning that I don’t like it; I’m actually pretty indifferent about the format of the show. I personally love topical discussions, and so that (by default) ended up being part of the show. The standard “Hey, let’s talk about the games we’re all playing!” is pretty standard on every single gaming podcast, but I find myself enjoying that part of every show (both my own and other shows that I listen to). I think it’s safe to say that this will always be in there, but how do you feel about it? Since we aim(ed) to have a monthly show, we were shooting for a 90-120 minute length of the show). How about that? Do you want longer or shorter? Hopefully not longer…!
I guess you could also call this “layout”. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is move away from the we-clearly-adapted-the-default-WordPress-theme for a design of the site. I really like the custom theme I incorporated over into my personal blog. You can see that I have a thing for individual entries having their own surrounding “block”, and I’ve always wanted to get rid of a sidebar and drive all navigation up top. If I can swing some free time, you may see me experimenting with the look of the site. Do not be alarmed. Do not adjust your television sets.
So that’s that, now you know, and knowledge is power.
A soundtrack episode would be fantastic, especially since you and Jeff actually have a music podcast.
And, as far as the format of the show goes, I personally think it’s very well done. The “What we’re playing” stuff is, as you say, a standard for any gaming podcast. I honestly don’t think anyone could take any issue with it.
Length doesn’t bother me at all. You guys don’t have new episodes all that often, so it isn’t like you’re assaulting us with two hours a week. That, and I just like long podcasts.
Of course, I’m also a teenager with a lot of free time, so… Take that as you will.
I actually don’t like the layout on your personal blog (there’s not a lot wrong, it just isn’t visually exciting). I’m comfortable with this site’s design (but, again, it could be more visually stimulating). Removing the side bar could be good, I dunno. I’ve been meaning to do a new layout myself for ages – there’s never enough time.
The episode’s tend to run a bit longer than I’d like, but thinking about it now there’s nothing that could really be cut. Every section is great and nothing really ‘drags on’. As such, there’s nothing you could really do to shorten the segments themselves, and losing any of the sections would be losing something that is very enjoyable. I say do the podcast, and let it take whatever it takes.
The only problem I really have with the site’s design is the color scheme. Not digging the peachish-orangeish color. 😡
I think the podcast works perfect that way it is right now.
When it comes to the “What we’ve been playing” section of this or any other gaming podcast, I could listen to whole episodes of just that. I love it when someone mentions a game or a part in the game and then others jump into the conversation (Hey, how ’bout that!?) and the discussion becomes an exchange of stories about different experiences in the game. It’s fun to listen to and reminds me of hanging out with my friends. Plus if you start talking about a game I’ve never played it tends to make me want to look into it (Left 4 Dead being the big example here).
As for the length, I think it’s fine. Esspecially since it’s usually sectioned into two parts (“What we’ve been playing” and the Top 10 discussions) so if one part drags on too long you have a nice cut away point to come back to later (although I always listen to them straight through, but I have that kind of lacking social life that allows for such things).
So it could be shorter, longer, whatever. Wouldn’t bother me either way. I’d expect it to jump around depending on the discussions anyway.
Oh my gosh, I would love it if you guys did an episode all about Video Game Soundtracks! However, it would be nice if you guys reviewed soundtracks of Video Games most people are familiar with (Ex. Super Mario World). A discussion about Soundtracks of games not a whole lot of people know about would be pretty boring.
The podcasts are great, and I’m sorry Mike, but I would love longer episodes! The Blog Layout is pretty good, though a more visually Dynamic layout woould be pretty cool. The Blog itself is pretty solid. Not much to comment there.
What you been playing? is a key segment to all video game podcasts I feel cause it lets me relate to the members of the podcast. Your podcast in particular is also good for this because you guys play some very random stuff (old, new, console, portable etc.), not just the 5 latest big games.
My only suggestion would be to update the top 10 lists on the side of the site please. I do like to read a list even after listening to them (and I guess being there live to record them :-P).
Oh, I definitely plan to get those Top 5 lists updated! My “PS2 Games I Own & Haven’t Played” is all written up and I just need to do the web formatting on it. The others I admit I haven’t gotten around to getting outta the shows and into text for the web; my bad on that.
Really looking forward to updating the design a little bit so the left doesn’t get filled up with Top 5 lists going down and down and down the side… wish I had more time in the day to do all that…
I agree on our own “What we’re playing…” segment, since we’re all over the map with games. I do enjoy it on every other video game podcast I listen to, but I’ll also admit to a little fatigue hearing the same (new) games repeated over and over. I love hearing how people rediscover older, favorite games, or even just discovering older games for the first time.
To be honest I’m really not a big video game fan anymore, but I used to buy a lot. The show gets me into the feeling of when I used to play games all the time. To me that says that I don’t really have any problems with the format. The only comment I want to make (since you asked about possibly shortening the show), is that I think you should go as long as you feel each show needs to be. I really like that some of the shows are over two hours.
I know my response didn’t really go anywhere, I just don’t want you to shorten it unless you think it’s necessary.
Just a thought, why not have a game swap section where each of you chooses a game from your collection and has the other two play it and then discuss what you each thought? This would be even more interesting if those games came from genres that the other two didn’t often play (for example, Andrew having Mike and Jeff play a sports game). There’s a lot of focus on the usual popular franchises (Mario, Zelda) but not as much on the genres we often don’t hear about in gaming podcasts (sports, mobile games, PC adventure games) and it’s those more niche subjects I’d like to hear about.
That’s actually *DEAD ON* what one of my original ideas was going to be for the show. It was literally going to be trading one another back and forth each month a game (I even had a few planned out, with my first to shove at other people “Boomer’s Adventure In ASMIK World” on the original Game Boy; Andrew chose “Rocket Knight Adventures” on the Genesis).
We eventually moved into a topical-format, possibly because that’s what we’re comfortable doing, and because it required slightly less effort than playing a new game every month on top of everything else we wanted to do.
It’s still something I want to investigate…
There were also little narrated videos I wanted to do…
Someone pay me to do this full time. Please?