Hello my fellow #warmongers, Wargamers and Shell Case readers! Over the past year and half I have had the awesome opportunity to collaborate with Phil and The Shell Case on multiple occasions and had a lot of fun. I currently run/operate the War and More Radio, which tracks my random forays into wargaming and Video Games. Needless to say I am a founding member of the Of Dice and Men Podcast on the The Shell Case and I want to keep giving back to this wonderful website!* [Awww shucks! Ed.]
*Shameless complements: CHECK
For my first post I thought it would be interesting to discuss my early stumblings into wargame podcasting and give out some helpful tips that I have learned over the past year and a half. With that said let’s get into the nitty-gritty and get started already!
Have a point to your podcast
This has to be the most challenging and surprisingly stressful part of creating any podcast. I struggled this for a while: if you look at the early War and Mario Radio shows they were unfocused and just all over the place. I wanted to cover video games and wargaming but I found out in our conversations that while there may be some crossover topics (Fluff, IP), unfortunately there are some built-in barriers of understanding on both sides of the conversation. So rather than isolate gamers I decided to create smaller podcasts that address each topic specifically. The Warmonger covers wargaming and Let’s All Game talks about video games. I still record the normal show, but I keep it around for just general discussions about one specific area for that specific episode (video games in one episode for example). So keep it focussed and to the point, kind of like what I should be doing right now…moving on. [And what you desperately try to get us to do with ODAM. Ed.]
Editing is a skill that comes with time and to be honest is something that I still struggle with on occasion. Regardless, I motor on and do the best I can. You should always strive to improve this and never settle…ever! At first, audio may not be a big deal but due to initial start-up costs being what they are, this could be a challenge. I would avoid using webcamera mics, because they have terrible white noise. I have mixed views on the Skype app for iPhones, but Phil uses that for ODAM so, they can’t be that terrible. I would buy a mic from a larger store chain and ask about their return policy. Usually, you can’t return mics (smelly/sweat problems according to the stores), but larger chain stores let you get store credit and allow you to exchange mics usually. I learned this the hard way, sadly… Oh and avoid Logitech if you can…
To Hammer or not to Hammer? That is a Quite an Awkward Statement….
What do I mean by this? Well to put it simply, please, please, please….put some effort into your name. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too much what you call your podcast. If your show is good and people find it interesting, who cares what you call it? It’s more of a personal opinion and one that should not be taken too heavily. I love Noobhammer, Kiwihammer and the folks over at Chumphammer (Little Pete in the house), and their name is by no means a negative. If you put hammer in the name it helps to illustrate where your show is focussed. However, you do put yourself into a potential hobby trap (only covering the Games Workshop game systems). I will leave this one up to you, but there is a reason why I chose the name: War and More Radio. Oddly enough it was to recognize that everything seems to have the word war in it. So why not have some WAR! And perhaps something more…
In A Way That Makes Sense.
Again, how you organize your show should play to your strengths as a host and make sense. Everyone who comes onto the show should be there for a reason. It’s okay to have friends to just have on the show but they will make a bigger investment for the show if they perform a specific role or have a unique segment that is originally theirs. Make the show fun and try not to be too uptight (sounds like I should take my own advice, lol), we are all gamers and have certain tastes. If the show is explicit, try to make that obvious to your listeners. [That’s never been an issue for us… Ed.]
At the end of the day, try to remember it doesn’t matter what the other podcasts are doing. Be open for advice and criticism and keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 people listening or just 2 (including you, during editing). If even one person listens to the show, you have changed their day and have made an influence! Keep in mind that they could have just listened to music instead.
Adam “Mr Voxman” Tremblay