My voice into your brain

Did you know that the Retronauts podcast has been around for more than three years? And what a horrible, rocky three years it’s been. It’s only been in the past few months that I seem to have developed a sense of confidence about podcasting — I’m not entirely certain, but I think seeing a room full of strangers actually enjoy what we were saying, in real-time, back at PAX made the difference. Whatever the cause in all of this, I’ve definitely become a lot more active in 1UP’s podcasting sphere of late, and I feel like the shows I’ve been involved with have been great. Not really because of anything I’ve done, though, but because we’ve had such informative guests.

Like, for last week’s Retronauts, I pretty much just shut up and let BioWare’s Greg Zeschuk talk about the company’s history for an hour. He’s a smart, funny guy, and he made for an interesting show. Likewise for Jeff Green, who was the guest of honor on last week’s Friday podcast; it seems like it would be difficult to create a bad show where Jeff is involved. But over and above that, David Ellis has leapt in feet-first to become a really great host. I’m impressed!

There’s also the new RPG podcast, Active-Time Babble, which is still finding its voice. I guess this week’s episode will be the acid test for that, since it’s the first show in a month or so that hasn’t had a guest participant to keep things spicy. It’s all on us, I fear.

We’re also doing a little more video-oriented things lately; nothing on the level of The 1UP Show, I fear, but random little things like a video version of last week’s Retronauts:

(Parts two and three are also available for your delectation.)

This is, of course, just my little corner of the site. The rest of 1UP has been shaping up into greatness as well. I know a lot of people gave up on the site after the 1UPocalypse at the beginning of the year, and it was pretty rocky for a while. But we’re back on our feet. Give the site a look, why don’t ya. I’m pretty proud of what the kids have whipped up over there.

15 thoughts on “My voice into your brain

  1. Definitely. “Rocky” was a good word for it, but people like you and David Ellis (and awesome free lancers like Kat!) have really helped get the site up and running at full speed again. And as I’ve recently found I need way more podcasts, this is a good thing!

  2. As much as I love Retronauts… and it’s one of my favorite podcasts anywhere on the ‘net, at least mos tof the time… the “interview” episodes bore the hell out of me. I had to shut off the Tom Hulett episode after 20 minutes. I wasn’t listening anymore; it was just background noise because I didn’t care. Greg Zeschuk? I made it about 10 minutes with him. Interview episodes tend to feel more like promotional tools than anything. You don’t get the honest, excited back-and-forth that the other episodes offer where you can listen to you guys acting as fans, seriously discussing a franchise’s strengths and weaknesses as you relate them to your personal gaming history. I like a gamer’s perspective on the classics, and I don’t really care about a developer’s whitewashed perspective. The latter tends to bring a show completely lacking in the enthusiasm and balance that the traditional hosts usually provide. You’re losing me here with the interviews. Hey, I’m glad you’re happy with the show now – you seem to have been unhappy with it a number of times over its run, so it’s good you’re making peace with it. Doesn’t necessarily mean your listeners are all loving it as much as you are, though. I’m ready to hear the 1UP staff discuss classic franchises again, instead of just promoting new-age remakes with boring interviews.

  3. Retronauts is far and awya my favourite podcast and it keeps me warm on the long drives into work every time there’s a new one released. I’m also loving active time-babble. Keep up the good work, I don’t think you realise how well liked and excellent your podcast work is.

  4. It’s too bad SniperZombie didn’t listen to some of that “background noise”. Tomm was very upfront in that interview about the high and low points of every series he discussed – even glaring flaws in games he himself had previously worked on.

    I’ve said this in the past, but getting actual industry insight is one of those things you professionals can offer over other podcasts out there. Sure, there aresome clunkers, but the vast majority of them are really interesting – assuming, of course, that they’re not just spouting off PR.

  5. I know I’ve oversaturated both the comments and the TT forums with introducing myself as a new developer, but Sniperz0mbie makes it important I do so again. Part of the reason I’m so open about that is because when I was younger and decided this is what I wanted to do, there were no developer perspectives or dialogues, nothing for me to really learn from and I believe this seriously hindered my development. At 25, I feel embarrassed sometimes by the skill sets I still don’t possess that frankly I should have been learning when I was in my mid teens, but there just wasn’t any information out there to learn from, you know?

    This is why I appreciate hearing from people in the industry, something that I’m seeing a lot more of thanks to the openness of the internet (something people are calling ‘web 2.0’ or some such) including on Retronauts. The Tomm, Wayforward and Bioware podcasts have been extremely informative as well as entertaining and I’m extremely appreciative of Jeremy and 1up for providing the content as well as the developers for being candid about their history and process.

    Does this mean I want interviews exclusively? Hell no, and I don’t think Jeremy does either. The point I’m trying to make is that as a listener, I am both entertained and informed by these types of podcasts, and see both as having merit.

  6. The link in this post for Active Time Babble is actually linking to 4Guys1Up. Just thought I’d let you know.
    Looking forward to the next show. :)

  7. opps, apparently the one for 4Guys1Up is also wrong. They got switched somehow and now it’s linking to ATB.

  8. The fact that someone would ignore an hour-long interview with someone like Greg Zeschuk because — oh no! — he is a businessman with the ultimate aim of selling videogames strikes me as sadly closed-minded. The dude helped establish a company that is largely credited for reinvigorating a dying genre and bringing it to a wider audience. He has worked on some objectively great games. Dismissing that kind of experience is folly.

  9. The only thing I didn’t like about Dr. Greg was that he spoke a little too quickly and used the word “literally” way too often. Other than that, he was really great guest and said some interesting stuff. Same goes for Tomm and the Wayforward guys. My favourite interview though was with the guy who worked on the Star Trek game. His story was just so fascinating and since the project was so long ago he was able to speak with an honesty that we aren’t used to hearing from industry professionals.

    Keep up the good work Parish.

  10. Hey keep it up! I’ve been listening to Retronauts since it started and Active Time Babble is off to a good start. (They keep me going when I’m working out, its the best time for me to listen to them). I really enjoyed the Tomm Hulett Konami special and the behind the scenes info on Contra 4.

  11. I can’t find the PAX Retronauts episode on GameVideos. Is that footage still going up? Someday?

  12. I’ll side with everyone else and declare my support for interviews on Retronauts. I can’t think of a single interview on the podcast where I felt like I was being marketed to rather than entertained or informed (the whole PAX interview about how off-the-rails that “multimedia” Star Trek game wound up a trainwreck being a perfect example).

  13. Keep up the good work. I think I’ve been listening almost from the beginning, and I have been enjoying the new style of the interviews. It is heartening to hear how folks that make games now loved the same stuff that we did, and illuminating to hear why.

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