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Jon Shafer - @JonShaferDesign, www.JonShaferOnDesign.com, Jon.Shafer@Comcast.net
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer, www.artana.com, Dirk@Knemeyer.com
[...] second episode of the new podcast Dirk Knemeyer and I have partnered up for is now live. Here’s the [...]
As a wannabe tabletop game designer, I really enjoyed this episode a lot and didn’t mind the length at all. In fact, if you could get Rob back for a talk about his design process in more detail, that’d be great.
Though I’m obviously not operating on the same level, I can really relate to the “scientific” methodology of questioning my assumptions to generate really interesting game designs. Knowing when a design isn’t worth pursuing is something that I’d also love to hear more about, as I think design failures are often the most instructive.
Thanks a ton.
I enjoyed this episode too. Having said that, I hope Jon was serious about liking constructive criticism (Dirk, cover your ears/eyes), because I’m going to mention a couple bits that aren’t quite working for me.
1) The opening/ending music is so fancy it’s used to parody fanciness, but you guys seem to be using it straight as the music for a show that closely resembles my friends and I sitting around to chat. So that’s a bit of a weird mismatch.
2) This might just be me, but this episode was too long at an hour and a half. Last episode, at about an hour, was quite a bit more digestible. It might not actually be the length itself, maybe it just needs to be broken up into sections, because eventually it started to feel like the audio equivalent of a wall of text. I don’t listen to many podcasts (hardly any, actually), so maybe this is a problem that’s already been solved somewhere else.
Looking forward to the next episode!
Thanks Matt. We’re very grateful for the feedback, keep it coming.
We picked the music to be a little tongue-in-cheek but you’re right that we haven’t been paying it off so far. I’m not really sure what the best way for us to do that would be.
Length…yeah. Our approach for now is to just let a good conversation develop and not constrain the length artificially. We’ll keep our eye on this though and here how people are responding.
Very enjoyable, thank you for this episode. Personally I liked all the topics and had interest in all of the topics; do bring Rob back.
And seconded on the music. Very cheesy imo.
Keep it up, great podcast!
Yep, I was absolutely serious about wanting constructive criticism! We’re still just getting started and figuring things out as we go. The last thing I would do is make claims of perfection!
No doubt, the music is cheesy. As Dirk noted, that was done on purpose although we really haven’t played into it at all. I’ll try to inject a little more fun into that.
Editing and keeping the length down is definitely not one of our priorities. One of our goals with the show was to make it somewhat like design itself – sometimes winding, and always a lot to think about. If we tried to limit ourselves I strongly believe we’d lose a lot of good content, and we’d end up more in the realm of “talking about games” than truly “talking about game design.”
The hope in splitting the episodes into two parts was that people would have a logical break point if they needed to come back up for air. Would anyone find it useful if we noted the timestamp for when we switch from talking about games we’ve been playing to the topic segment?
Glad to know that choice was intentional, heh. For the sake of new listeners, though, so they don’t get the wrong first impression, you might want to either add a static signifier that you’re being silly (like ending it with an abrupt record scratch, ala movie trailers–although that specific idea is probably a bad one, just something in that vein) or a routine dynamic one (like the way Jon Stewart always exaggerates playing with his papers during the Daily Show intro–for this, maybe improvised off-key humming or something like that (again, that specific idea is probably bad)).
I’m definitely not asking for _less_ content, just for it to be broken up more. The current transition between the two parts is sort of a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment. Personally, the timestamp wouldn’t be much use to me, because I do want to listen to everything, just not at once. Might I suggest offering the podcast in two versions–the normal version, and a broken up version in two files? For the two file version, you could append a quick static outro to the end of the first part and a quick static intro to the beginning of the second part before facing into the last couple lines from the first part. If that would be too much trouble, maybe just editing in some silence with a distinctive sound or interesting quote at the break point for a kind’ve palette cleanser.
Just some ideas, hopefully they’re useful even if just as fodder for inspiring better ones.
Good thoughts Matt. I’ll discuss them with Dirk when he returns from the business trip he’s on. I don’t think we’ll want to create different versions (audience fragmentation is never a good thing), but some sort of sounder when we switch topics definitely sounds reasonable.
Really insightful stuff here on your various design processes.
I’ve very much had the soul-crushing experience of a first-payable turned disaster.
I’ve worked on many other creative projects too and this was by far more emotionally draining an experience. Get someone else to do that part?! Simple, brilliant, and oh-so-less-painful.
Keep up the awesome work you guys. And of course you should have Rob back!
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