Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Few Good Game Podcasts

Now that I finally have a vehicle that can play files on a USB key, I've been able to listen to podcasts to make the most of my commuting time.  I've been focusing on game content for the most part.  Some shows have been better than others; here are a few of my favourites.

Playing Super Mario Bros (Gameboy Color Game) on iPod photo
Playing Super Mario Bros (Gameboy Color Game) on iPod photo / FHKE

The first podcast I tried was Another Castle.  Although there hasn't been a new episode for about a year now (leading me to believe there never will be), there are quite a few in the archive to keep busy for a while.  The episodes I listened to were interviews done in what sounded like a coffee shop, and I quite liked them.  The audio quality was good despite the background noises of cups clinking and doors squeaking.  My favourite interviews were with Greg Costikyan (much more curmudgeonly than I expected), Eric Zimmerman (a true 'artiste' — in a good way), and Jesper Juul (a seemingly humble and kind soul).

Next up I tried The Game Engine Podcast.  This one has just over 50 episodes, but seems to have tapered off recently.  The hosts cover a wide range of topics, including both design and development.  I found a few episodes on topics I was particularly interested in (like The Hero's Journey, gamification, and the relationship between games and education).  I thought they were at least reasonable introductions to these topics, but in most cases not as useful to someone who has been doing a lot of related reading.  Unlike Another Castle, the hosts and guests are not the very top experts of the industry (but they are still enjoyable).

Most recently, I've been listening to The Brainy Gamer podcasts.  These are posted alongside regular blog posts, and seem to be released somewhat sporadically.  (It also seems that the show is now in flux, with its creator wondering whether he adds anything that other game podcasts don't already have.)  I love the host in this one, and have really enjoyed the interviews I've heard so far (namely, Tom Bissell and Brenda Brathwaite with John Sharp).

I've still got to check out Extra Credits' podcasts,  and might try A Jumps B Shoots soon.  Any others I must know about?


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