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January 27th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 9 Comments · Blogs, Me, Media

This weekend, I’ll join a friend on his initial podcast. I’ll have more on the details once they are worked out. I’ve never been on a podcast before, and I haven’t been on TV or the radio since high school. I hope my stutter doesn’t reappear.

But it has, once again, led me to consider the possibility of a Flash of Steel affiliated podcast. There are lots of general gaming podcasts out there, but I’ve been looking for one that is devoted to the types of games that I am interested in. I couldn’t do it alone, of course. I’ve neither the technical expertise for editing, nor the captivating personality to hold an audience for forty minutes, nor the server space for such a thing. I have a long list of people I’d probably invite, but you know how these things work. StratiCasters would probably violate a couple of trademarks anyway.

Podcasting looks hard, which is probably why there are so few good ones. Yes, any idiot can sit in front of Skype and chat to the ether. But just like anyone can blog, doing it right and making it interesting requires effort. It takes more than inside jokes, nerdly outrage and vapid speculation. The best gaming podcasts are well-structured and have a good interplay between the hosts; they are not just Talk Radio for the Internet.

But video and audio are the future of online games commentary, I think. As people are decreasingly likely to read, they turn to the easy listening of ‘casts while they commute or work in the office. Let a thousand quasi-public radio stations bloom.

So what would a good strategy/wargame podcast look like? Developer interviews? Debates? Themed discussions (maps, economy, etc.)?


9 Comments so far ↓

  • JonathanStrange

    Themed discussions sound promising: you’re focused, you can prepare, you can illustrate, and when in doubt, you can pontificate!

  • Bruce

    You should interview a famous gamer like Tom Chick.

  • Chris Nahr

    Any discussion on strategy game design and mechanics would be great, especially if you can get developers to participate.

    But really, the strategy genre is so under-covered that you could just talk about new and upcoming releases and have virtually no overlap with existing podcasts. The ones I listen to hardly even acknowledge the existence of strategy games.

  • James Allen

    Are you allowed to pontificate in a podcast? Sounds kinda dirty.

  • Thomas Kiley

    Have a look at BlogTalkRadio. I used it a while back, it made the whole podcasting progress very easy and even supports things like live listening and call ins.

    The two things I learnt when I did a podcast a while back was
    a)Shortness, making an hour podcast can put off many people, particularly if the first one is a little weak
    b)Never ever be on the air on your own. Without someone to bounce stuff off, it requires a constant active effort to keep the persons attention. It can get very monotonous very quickly. On top of which, you have to be interesting for twice as long.

    I would love to see a Flash of Steel podcast though, so go for it. Try a couple, it isn’t like you have to sign a 12 month contract!

  • Alan Au

    As mentioned, strategy games is niche that isn’t getting a lot of coverage, much less podcast coverage. Like Chris, I think it would be great just to hear about classic, recent, and upcoming releases, partly to find out if they’re any good, partly because you’ll have new content to talk about on a regular basis. Guests are also good, again because they give you new content to discuss on a regular basis.

    The design thing is also interesting, but that may be my personal bias. You could also talk about the strategies themselves, maybe as a broader topic. That is, talk about the tank rush and the zerg rush and rushing in general, how it has impacted modern strategy game design, etc.

  • MikeO

    Interviews with developers would be great. Your written interviews are usually my favorite features now.

  • Thomas Kiley

    To quote an email I got from THQ Press Net

    “Review code will be available around the 13th feb”

    Maybe they have exclusive contacts (which I obviously don’t!) but that is a pretty big gap.

  • Thomas Kiley

    Woops, wrong page! Ignore above comment