Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Upcoming podcast

Ok, at least some of my listeners are reading this site, too. So I can at least get the word out about some plans for upcoming podcasts. The in-laws left yesterday, my folks arrive in a week, and I'm going to two more Christmas parties in between. And no game nights. Ah well, that's the way it goes, this time of year. It's always busy, and I haven't had a "normal" week for the podcast since before BGG.con. That goes all the way back to October! Would you believe I recorded the last show, the one with the RPG stories from Steve Jackson Games, while I was stuck in holiday traffic on a bad commute home? (Time that show, and you'll see how bad traffic was!)

What I intend to record next is my standard format of session report and feedback. However, after the last one I decided I need to make a few changes. If you recall, the last sr/feedback show was the one with Hansa. I myself had thought that one's rules description got a little out of control, and I received two or three independent comments saying about the same thing. Although I could have done better with a retry or maybe just some better notes/planning, I think the real problem is that my session reports had slid into a format that's not very comfortable for me: an audio review. Remember when my audio session reports started? I just skimmed the rules or subject of the game, and simply shared some opinions about it. Then, thinking that wasn't too helpful to listeners who weren't already familiar with the title, I started to include more review-type elements. I even started printing out a template to prep for the audio review, with spaces for the publication year, German and American publishers, a rules overview, and key strategy points.

Now, those are all good elements for a game review--and maybe that's even what some of you would prefer I keep doing--but it's more work and less comfortable for me. It's also a bad fit for the shows that are supposed to more breezy talks about games and listener comments. Maybe I'll eventually add specific audio review shows to the rotation of sr/feedback, All Abouts, and general subject podcasts, but for now I'm going to stop doing them. The session reports will go back to being shorter, more conversational, and less comprehensive. That should also allow me time to talk about more than two games per show.

More changes are in store for the feedback segment, too. It will still go at the back of these shows (I really like that), and will still be me reading & replying to written feedback (or playing & replying to audio feedback). However, I'm going to do less of it. As much fun as I have with the "listener mail," I think some judicious selection would make for better listening, especially when it really piles up between the feedback podcasts. I'll still respond to all of the feedback--I don't get too much!--but more responses will be via email or blog comments. I'll try to only read/play the feedback that generates a little commentary or answer that would be of interest to other listeners. Or something like that.


P.S. Though I'm going to miss game nights this entire month, I still got to play some titles recently. The last SCB session for me included Havoc, Rhinelander, and Aqua Romana. At a recent games day Sam & I met up with two more dads and their kids to play games together. We did Tigris & Euphrates(!), Maus-Rallye, Diamant, Star Munchkin, and New Entdecker. Lots to talk about in a podcast, eh? I just need to find the time!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mark thanks for the update!

I'll miss the reviews, but I an understand your reasoning. As you said, maybe you can sneak on
thorough review in once in a while. I have appreciated you discussing what makes a game fun. Or what you consider an interesting mechanic.

Will you be adding anything new into the mix? The recent interview was really good. And so was your recent discussion on your background with Jackson Games.

Anyway, keep up the good work. The production quality is good. Your shows are pretty tight and stick to the script(as it were).

In short, podcast is excellent. I enjoy listening to it each (week?) :-P Or whenever you get time to do one.

~Bill Hoyt

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, what did you think of Aqua Romana? Is it different enough from Metro to justify buying it?

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there is any need for an in-depth review. A brief overview of the mechanics followed by what you like or dislike about the game is ideal. I know when I read a review of a game, I look forward to the opinionated part the most instead of the description of how that game is played. Anyway, keep up the good work and keep those podcasts coming!

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can sympathise with the all the activity this time of year.

Thanks for the great pod-casts the past year. Looking forward to the new ones when you get a chance to record them.


2:20 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

I didn't think too much of Aqua Romana. Now, I like connection games in general, but there have been several successful ones already. And here comes my old bias again: a new game needs to do something better than an old one to get my attention. It's not even Metro, because I thought THAT game didn't outshine Linie 1/Streetcar. (Oh, Metro is ok, I just like the idea of building streamlined routes in the face of adversity better than convoluted routes rather than direct connections.)

2:23 PM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Bill, I hadn't really considered the review shows as a different type of podcast, but you're making me reconsider. I certainly like having different types of shows, and adding the occasional review show (more structured & complete than a session report show, but less than an All About show) should be doable.

2:33 PM  

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