Sunday, August 27, 2006

On The Future of Gaming Podcasting

Ever since Gen Con, the various gaming podcasters have been having lots of conversations about the new-found legitimacy of podcasting by the industry, the lessons learned the last year, and ideas for what the future brings. At the Dragon's Landing Podcast's forums we are having various conversations about the future of gaming podcasts, especially what it will take for the new batch of podcasters to make it in the field. The following is a very long post I made with some of my thoughts. You can see the original thread here and the my post here. Lots of links have been added for convenience.
This is a very exciting time to be tuned in to the whole podcast phenomenon, in general. Specifically in gaming podcast, this goes 100 times more so, because, thanks to the early adopters who have broken ground and gained an amazing level of legitimacy, the soil is fertile now for a new crop to come up.

In many ways I see Gen Con as the turning point, and specifically the Megacast as being the Big Bang of the new era in gaming podcasts. A lot of things were said at the cast, a lot of ideas and theories and plans, that during the next year we will see put into action and be able to, very clearly, see how they had their genesis at the Megacast.

Of particular interest, for me especially, is the concept of the new batch of podcasts and the form they should take in order to thrive in the already-existing field. The general advice show has been done, and quite well, so there's no need to rehash it. It's time to become a true specialist, and take advante of the Long Tail effect.*

If you really stop to think about it, and look at the current generation (let's call them Generation Alpha, to borrow Chuck and Lonnie's new scheme), you'll find the concept of specialization has already taken place: you have Dragon's Landing Inn with general RPG advice; Gamer! The Podcasting with general LARP advice; Fist Full of Comics (and Games) going for the very obvious (and quite ignored until, and except for, them) brige of comics and games; All Games Considered doing a review show that manages not to be repetitive in a field with Paul Tevis' Have Games, Will Travel; Ogre Cave Audio Report is the only one doing industry news and commentary, something I would love to have more of; Fear the Boot seems like it's going for the general RPG advice, but they are so systematic that they manage not to be repetitive with DLI, etc.

The reason this is interesting for me in particular is because this is preciselyt the kind of thinking that led me to create The Gamer Traveler. Currently TGT plays as part of the DLI, but that was a practical decision based on my circumstances at the moment; in all other aspects, TGT is its own podcast, and I envision taking it solo in the near future as well. In terms of focus, the podcast was born out of me thinking, "How can I do a gaming podcast that is unique and niche enough to justify me making it at all?" It took a while, but I finally landed the concept. I still need to tighten up the execution, for sure, but I am very secure that I have created a product that, by its very nature, is not likely to be copied, thus assuring me an original output and space in the podcast field.

This is the same thinking that needs to go into the creation of new podcasts in our field; we need to look for specialties, things for which we feel passionate about and we can talk someone's ear off and (quite importantly) complement the existing 'casts so that we do not offer direct competition, but rather synergy.

As far as the established podcasts helping out to promote the new generation, I don't think that would be a problem. Remember at the end of the day we are not really in competition; though a listener's time is at a premium, better informing the listener about the options out there, the options that would truly maximize their listening time, creates a better listener, one that is both loyal to the community and thankful for having been exposed to cool things he/she may not have found about before. Many of the smaller PDF game publishers already do this, and the result has been better loyalty from the customers and an ever expanding pool of new people being exposed to our products.

Another thing we, as listeners, need to start getting used to is that the content we are being provided by these podcasters is valuable and worth money; I, for one, welcome their new attempts at laying the groundwork for ways to eventually generate a profit from their hard, hard work.

Like I said, this is a very exciting time to be a listener and a podcaster, and I can't wait to see what the future brings.

* - The short and simplified version: the Long Tail effect states that there is a potentially-endless market for uber-niche products that, while it may dwindle to a very small amount, actually never reaches zero. Read the Wikipedia article if you want a more theoretical explanation.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Last RPG

Okay, I've seen it all. At RPGnow Edge:

Welcome to The Veggie Patch.
As you can guess, this isn't your normal role-playing game. Players aren't powerful wizards, out to discover the secrets of the universe. They aren't highly trained spies,
trying to save the world, nor do they fly around the galaxy in a space ship. They aren't even your typical hero, off saving damsels in distress.
They're vegetables.

Okay, that's it folks, the last RPG has been written. We can all stop now and move on to another hobbie or industry, there's nothing left here. :-)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Arcadia: The Wyld Hunt CCG Lot for Sale

I've put up my collection of Arcadia: The Wyld Hunt CCG up for sale on eBay. You can see the listing here.

This game was published in the early- to mid-90's by White Wolf tied to their Changeling: The Dreaming roleplaying game. It features adventures played in the fae realm of Arcadia. The game was sold in booster packs divided into Character Packs and Story Packs. To play, you select a character card, then customize it with options from the Character Pack. Once that's done, you create a playing field by laying down terrain cards. A Quest is selected, enemies and traps are laid down under various terrain cards, and off you go to complete the Quest.

Included in this lot are two card boxes, one all Character Pack cards (including the nifty, stand-up cardboard characters), and one all Story Pack cards. These cards were used in games, but are all in excellent shape. All cards are from the Wyld Hunt set.

This was cool game, but suffered from the way it was marketed. White Wolf tried to ride the CCG train, but this game would have done so much better if packaged as a boardgame with regular expansions. Even today, if I could get it complete in one box, it would be a brilliant little game.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

[The Gamer Traveler] Episode 03 - Brussels, Belgium

Show Notes for Episode 03 of The Gamer Traveler (As featured on the Dragon's Landing Podcast, episode 53):

King's House on Grand Place, Brussels

Brussels, Belgium

The Gamer Traveler theme music is Ragasutra from the album "All Strings Considered" by Jamie Janover and Michael Masley, and is provided courtesy of Magnatune.

The Gamer Traveler is brought to you by
Destination: Earth Travel Planners.
Helping you take the trip of a lifetime, today!

Posted by Daniel M. Perez to The Gamer Traveler at 8/16/2006 02:10:00 PM

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Life is very good!
White Wolf Announces New World of Darkness Genre for 2007: Changeling
August 12, 2006 - White Wolf is proud to announce the "5th Game" for World
of Darkness will be Changeling! As envisioned by developer Ethan Skemp, fans can
look forward to a complex setting where you character faces new challenges and
dangers not seen before in the World of Darkness.

I am already looking forward to Gen Con next year!!!