Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Podcasts 2010

My podcast lineup has changed quite a bit since I last blogged about it. Only three of the podcasts I was listening to back then are still on my list: The D6 Generation, World's End Radio, and This Week In Wargaming.

The D6 Generation is still one of the top podcasts on my list. Although for a podcast that proclaims "no hate" they sure seem to have a lot of hate for some things. Their constant put-downs of Agricola are wearing a bit thin, as was the irrational hatred of Avatar, and even the rational hatred towards Twilight. I know they're trying to be funny, but it's one of the few cases where their patented "not too horrible" humor really is pretty horrible.

Mini-rant aside, it's still a great podcast with tons of good information and humor in every episode that covers a wide variety of games.

World's End Radio is my token GW podcast, but still pretty high on my list. The combination of Australian accents and some coverage of non-GW games keeps this one on my list. They really do put on a good show.

This Week In Wargaming isn't quite so high on my list, but is one I still listen to. The original host, Troy McCauley, had to leave the podcast, and I'm still getting used to the new host, Ken Whitehurst. I loved Ken's segment on music for gaming that was part of the D6 Generation, but his style of delivery isn't quite to my taste for a full podcast.

I really hate to criticize something like this in an amateur podcaster, but he has a rather monotone style of delivery that I sometimes find difficult to pick out of the background noise when I'm listening to the podcast, to the point where my mind will wander and I'll suddenly be thinking "wait, what did he just say?" I'm hoping that either he'll grow into a slightly more dynamic style of presentation as he gains experience, or else that I'll get more used to his delivery, because the content of the show is still excellent. I'm not suggesting that he try to be more dynamic, I just hope that he grows more comfortable with the medium that he'll become more relaxed and his delivery will develop naturally. Once again, I hate to even bring it up, but it is a major factor why the podcast is not higher on my list.

Now for the ones I've added since last year: First up is The Dice Tower. This is one of the bigger board gaming podcasts and has been around for quite some time. It probably should have been one of the first podcasts I listened to, and I'm not sure why it wasn't, but now it's up there at the top of my list, vying with the D6 Generation to be the first I listen to when new episodes are up.

The hosts have a good presentation (the co-host, Eric Summerer is actually a professional voice actor), and while Tom Vasel once had a reputation for loving every game he ever played, as time has gone by he's become more critical, which I think makes his reviews even more useful than they used to be.

Fear the Boot is a general RPG podcast that has been entertaining to listen to as I get back into roleplaying. It's not at the top of my list, but the group has a nice dynamic.

Actual People, Actual Play is another RPG podcast, but where Fear the Boot is more about theory, Actual People, Actual Play is about recaps of gaming sessions. This is more entertaining than I originally thought it would be, and actually more useful for me given that the games they've been playing are mostly ones I want to run or play. I started listening because their first game was Burning Empires, but I'm still interested even though that campaign ended. I'm currently several episodes behind because I thought I was subscribed when I wasn't, but I'll be catching up with it as soon as I'm able.

One more primarily board gaming podcast I'm listening to is Game On! with Cody & John. This one is borderline for me. The hosts are entertaining, but I know more about the games they talk about than they do. Admittedly, they don't pretend to be experts, their pitch is that they're just normal gamers. The problem is that I don't really get that much out of listening to them. This one is likely to be one of the first ones I let get behind if I get less time to listen to podcasts.

Ninja vs. Pirates is a somewhat unique podcast in that it's all about game design, and each episode is an interview with a game designer. While some episodes are more interesting than others, there are a lot of interesting interviews that have been done.

Voice of the Revolution is the "house" podcast for Indie Press Revolution. I'm giving it a try right now, but haven't decided yet if it will stick around on my list. For what is essentially an infomercial, it's interesting and leans far more heavily on the information than it does on the commercial.

Finally, there's 2d6 Feet in a Random Direction. This one is the most sporadic of the podcasts I listen to, but is always interesting and entertaining when it comes out. One of the hosts of the podcast is associated with Endgame, a game store in Oakland that I used to go to occasionally. I probably met him at some point, but I never got to know those guys that well. Both hosts seem to have a lot of friends in the industry, or at least the West Coast gaming scene, and a lot of them seem to make their way onto the podcasts.

That's pretty much it for now. I fully expect this list of podcasts to continue to evolve over time. As it does I plan on continuing to post about it in the hopes that maybe someone else will discover a podcast that they like from the ones I mention.

2 comments:

polyversal said...

Fulminata: Thank you for sticking with TWIW. I really appreciate your comments. This sort of feedback is very useful to me (and not the sort of thing most people will come out and email or post). I am aware that my voice can dip into monotone while I record, in part because I tend to record at 11PM, and in part because I am alone while I record and have no audience to play off of. I make a conscious effort to keep the energy up, but sometimes I run out of steam... I learn a little bit each episode, and hopefully I can keep you listening.

Please email me (ken[at]thisweekinwargaming.com) with any other comments or thoughts you have about the show. It's a hobby for me, and I am always working to make the show better.

Fulminata said...

I hope I didn't overemphasize the issue, as it is the only issue that I have with the show. It still provides a format that I don't get from any other podcast that I've come across.

I should probably point out that the "background noise" I refer to is often engine noise from yard work or driving, which tends to exacerbate the problem, so it may not be an issue for others.

Perhaps if you developed an Australian accent or got Eric Summerer to be your co-host? ;-)

Seriously though, thanks for responding, and keep up the good work! My criticisms are relatively minor when compared to the quality of the content you've been presenting.

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