The game podcast dilemma

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Probably too many in fact. This all stems from working for 2 years at companies that were a 2 hour commute from my home. I needed something for those long bus rides.

If you look at my MP3 player you’d notice 3 main tastes. I tend to focus on technology, art, and video games. Technology is more or less entertainment and keeping up with current events for me. Usually I don’t get anything significant out of those except conversation pieces. Video games, although being my main occupation, I was surprised to find that I don’t get much out of these either. I get the usual game news, and sometimes an opinion about why a game does/doesn’t work which I can use to learn from, but the majority of the “useful” information I garner isn’t from games or tech podcasts. It’s from the art.

I find that the art/comics podcasts I listen to are the ones that give me the content I’m interested in. They are the ones that talk about personal marketing, finding work, managing time, making plans, working with publishers, and collaboration with others. Those are the topics I, as a game developer, am interested in. Comics podcasts come close enough to my field of expertise that they are often applicable to me.

Why could this be? Well, I think the majority of tech and game podcasts aren’t listened to by developers, but by consumers. The market for games and tech are so large that a lot of these shows exist to appeal to consumers. People who want to know about upcoming games in the AAA business, and aren’t about the development process itself. Comics and art on the other hand are communities filled with creators more than traditional consumers (advertising and games have us all as art consumers, but those consumers often don’t consider themselves “art fans” as it were). There are a lot of “starving artists” out there, so from that standpoint there is more interest in these communities about how to become a success. Because it’s hard to describe “art” through only words, these shows focus on other parts of their business.

So with that, I’ll share with you all a few of the podcasts I listen to for learning about art and comics development.
Big Illustration Party Time
Art & Story
Breaking the Panel
Webcomics Weekly

If you’ve got a podcast you think I’d be interested in, whether it be in art, games, or tech let me know. I’d love to get some new, interesting listening in. ESPECIALLY if it’s something like a games podcast from a developer’s point of view, as I’m always looking for those.

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5 Responses to “The game podcast dilemma”

  1. Mark C Says:

    Hey Dan,

    I’ve now subscribed to all of the podcasts you mention and will give them a try soon. I thought you might be interested in a podcast I find particularly inspirational, if not really useful in any other way.

    It’s Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts podcaere’s a link:st. It’s basically a bunch of short stories, but they tend to be really well chosen and read. At the very least they’re entertaining.

    Here’s a link:

    Reading about how your best podcasts are not directly related to your work reminded me of how much I like this particular podcast.

    Have a good one. Also.. spell check your post titles :p

    – Mark

  2. Mark C Says:

    woah.. that last comment went all crazy somehow. I must’ve pasted something where I shouldn’t.

    Oh well.

  3. Daniel Steger Says:

    Wow… I just keep making mistakes on those titles don’t I? Firefox for some reason refuses to spellcheck the post titles on WordPress (or at least the underline doesn’t show in it’s containing box). Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll be sure to check out the NPR podcast later today as well. Sounds like an interesting selection to listen to.

  4. Cerilli Says:

    Hi! I found my way here through the IGDA Toronto forum.

    In case you haven’t heard of it, I recommend the “ReAnimators Podcast”

    It is exactly what I love (and you probably will too)– game talk from a developer’s point of view. I think it’s a great podcast, but I’m not sure how popular it currently is. Check it out!

  5. Daniel Steger Says:

    Thanks Cerilli, I’m checking it out right now.

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