Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gaming Podcasts

I am going to do a series of reviews of gaming podcasts for Roleplaying Games, Miniatures, Card and Boardgames, the card games will not be the games played with a standard deck of cards instead being ones where the cards are specific to the game. I'm also ignoring gaming podcasts for console and computer games as this isn't a real area of interest to me.

I've listened to a lot of different podcasts lately, some where I have tried to get all the available material, others where I have only tried a limited range of the podcasts produced.

The views on the podcasts will be purely my own and reflect my own idiosincracies and tastes. However comments are welcomed.

A list of the podcasts I have listened to at time of writing is (in no particular order):

  • Yog-Radio
  • Meeples & Miniatures
  • All about miniatures
  • Pulp Gamer
  • The Solo Wargaming Show
  • Horror on the Orient Express
  • Boardgames To Go
  • The Dice Tower

There are plenty more that I will sample for the purposes of making this more comprehensive as a survey, more of that later and suggestions from readers are welcome.

Review No 1: Yog Radio
Yog Radio is a Cthulhu podcast or cephalopodcast that is quite well established having started in 2005 and reached 27 regular podcasts at the time of writing. It has three regular presenters which is a feature I prefer to the single presenter shows. The regular presenters Paul of Cthulhu (Paul MacLean), Fin Patterson and Neil Young clearly know each other well from gaming and it means that there is a good interplay between them. The website that this podcast comes from,, is a well established Call of Cthulhu fan website that contains a lot of useful material for players of CoC or other horror RPG. Both the podcast and webite have been nominated for and won Ennies awards, which shows that they have met high standards.

Oh dear*

Yog Radio is a pretty regular podcast with the main podcast apppearing monthly, this is supplemented by a variety of different additional podcasts. The other podcasts include recorded gaming sessions, Horror on the Orient Express (which I will review later) and Masks of Nyarlathotep; readings of stories and recordings from conventions. I will do a separate review of the other podcasts soon. The usual length is around 1 and a half hours though it does vary with some episode exceeding two hours. Personally my preference is for a length of around 1 hour to 1 hour fifteen minutes, but with some of the content it is possible to lose track of time, particularly the interviews.

Moving swiftly on....*

The content includes regular news, the R'lyeth Report; feedback from email and audio; frequently interviews and smaller podcasts from other contributors. The interviews are not only with people involved in producing Cthulhu related games, but also with relevant film directors and authors. There is some review of products,but this is not a major part of the content.

Probably my favourite part of the content has been the interviews as it is nice to hear the views of people that have designed games, written books or been involved in creating films about the creative process. The interviewees have included some well known authors, such as Brian Aldiss and from the gaming side: Sandy Petersen, Adam Scott Glancy and Marcus L Rowland.

The segments from other contributors tend to be aimed at Keepers and I think have been useful in covering ideas that can help a keeper improve their skills or use fresh ideas. The only downside is the can be a little variable in technical quality making the sound of the show a little uneven.

The technical quality is high on the recent podcasts, having been variable on the earliest episodes. This has been due to acquiring new and better equipment and greater knowledge among the team. This is particularly pronounced on the shows where surround sound has been used and listening on headphones I've been able to hear that particular voices are coming from one side.

My conclusion
This is one of my favourite gaming podcasts as I like the interplay between the regular presenters, mixture of content and the indepth nature of the interviews. I recommend this strongly.

*Those who have listened will know that these are pretty much Paul of Cthulu's catchphrases


Sam said...

Good review of Yog Radio. I agree, the interviews are a high point. And I apologize for bringing down the technical quality of the features (I swear the Keeper's Cupboard never sounds that distorted when I play it back on my machine before sending it over to PoC!)

Dave said...

Thanks for the comments, always nice to know somebody actually reads this stuff and I do need to get on and start getting more reviews of the goblin network out there.

I do like the features like Keeper's Cupboard and the content from multiple contributors and I do feel Yog-Radio is probably the best gaming podcast I've heard.