Live from our Secret Volcano Base, The Escapist Pod is on the Air!

We've been branching out, as you can tell. The Lounge has given us an opportunity to get a bit more comfortable with you, our readers, and hear what you have to say in regard to the magazine, as well as some issues that would never make it into the weekly. It's been great hearing what you folks have to say about what we're doing, and now, we're asking again for feedback and input for a new venture, which we're happy to debut to you: The Escapist Pod, The Escapist's podcast!

Click here to listen. Then, read more for some additional info, and a request from us to you!

What? We're doing a podcast? Nobody told me?! I have things to say!!!

Silence, Left Hand. We at the Right Hand are riding the wave of PROGRESS!

Sorry we didn't tell you Alex, but we thought you might be TOO articulate. Click here if you don't believe me. Note: The mp3 from that link contains profanity and may not be safe for work, or for young listeners.

Original Comment by: Patrick Dugan

Thats hot stuff, real cutting edge. I'd definetly like to get in on this sometime in the near future. The whole idea of a laid back, gender inclusive, smoke pit of discussion about the frontiers of gaming is definetly a needed injection.

Glad you like it, Patrick. We've obviously got a few technical kinks to work out, but it's good to know you enjoyed the overall feel of what we were going for.

Original Comment by: jlaakso

This was better than I anticipated. Good format, really nice laid-back feel to it. It's also actually the first podcast I've bothered to download and listen to. I'm certain I'm getting the next one, too.

The half-hour length is just right for a weekly (?) show. I like the basic setup of things and voice just brings you closer to the subject matter than reading text does. It makes you think about the issues at a different angle. I'm not sure if that's got something to do with how the brain processes written and spoken word differently or what. I know that most of the stuff handled in this first instalment was basically oft-discussed (The Escapist, Edge, the more intellectual forums, friends), but they felt fresh, now.

(Yes, the tech needs to be sorted out a bit, but it's nothing serious.)

Original Comment by: Tim
Great podcast y'all!

But one thing, the thing you said you catch slack for, that one thing you KNEW someone was going to say some stupid fan-boy ridiculous response: I'd like to be the one to start ;) Final Fantasy VII had a BEAUTIFUL story that rivaled many books I've read and enjoyed. I dig FFVII. Grandma LOVED FFVII; all of the little bastards that run around the house that go by the titles "brothers" and "sisters" liked FFVII. Between the total hours playing FFVII by each member of our family, I'd say we've been exposed to more FFVII than any religious doctrine.

It was a great story, man. There has to be some other reason that all of us sit for hours pressing "O" and "down" occasionally. Thus- video game writing is often as good as traditional novellas, if not better.

But that's just my dumbass opinion. Other than Interactive Fiction, is there anyone that reviews game story / plot design and dialogue? That's something I'd like to see.

Only not Ebert. Ebert and I had a falling out after a disagreement over "Bull Durham."

I hate Ebert.

Original Comment by: Munir

Loved the podcast! I check out the mag often, so I like the article focus aspect. It was great to hear what you had so say on XBox's, advertising in games, story-telling, interesting less well known titles like a more informal, less structured way. .. as well as the talk with John Tynes. IRadio is great for changing/enriching opinion and promoting original but less well know media. Maybe you guys will be the next John Peel show, except for games! I'll definitely be tuning in for future episodes.

I guess you're still trying to get rid of the 'bluggle-blug'. Is that the technical description? :D I wouldnt mind a bigger download for a higher quality stream. (Dunno if that would cost you more tho..) And it has to be said but Julian Grier has a very nice voice. (Its good to hear her opinions too!)


Your average friendly UK gamer.

Original Comment by: Kyle Stegerwald

My only suggestion is more jokes (less wooden delivery of the initial statements) and better recording equipment.

Original Comment by: Munir

Sorry just noticed - Julianne Greer. Oops.

Thanks for the feedback, All. It's definitely a work in progress, as far as the technical goes. We will likely be exploring various equipment options before the next one. As far as the delivery and jokes - noted. We will work on that.

It looks like we will be doing one every other week for the podcast. Joe, JR and I are the editorial staff on the magazine and, at least while we are still "Bluggling" along, every other week is about all we can juggle. BUT, if you guys are enjoying it, and we become more Pod-proficient, perhaps we can bump that up to weekly.

Original Comment by: BacksideNine
Wow, it was like a community college midnight radio show. Just kidding, i liked it. Increase the volume, and balance it between the participating parties. I liked the content. Might i suggest a more truncated version? my attention span wasnt holding through like it does with the well thought out, philosophical articles of this fantastic site. Im sure some hip band will throw you guys some bump music, to keep with the uber-indie fringe.

After so many years of gaming, i must say this is the finest publication to deal with the genre i have ever read. You focus on gaming, the direction of the industry, the gamers... everything but the tedium of actual games. I love it.

Turn the volume up.

Keep up the good work.

reminding me that intelligent, relevant, hip gamers are still out there.

Now lets go listen to some husky rescue and drink overpriced tea!

[in all sincerity, i loved the podcast and i love the escapist, i link people here all the time from some message boards]

Original Comment by: BacksideNine
I forgot, the subject matter, as always was beyond on point. I love the creativity, the perspective... and reading comments, i agree.. you guys sound a little stiff. Almost like this is the first time you have made a podcast. [dont mind my overly dry sense of humor tonight] The questions were great for the guests, and coerced in depth responses... or whatever.


Original Comment by: Apreche
Audio quality painful....

No podcast RSS to subscribe to...

Content is great though. Fix the tech issues and I'll subscribe.

We do have an RSS, however since it's only in beta we haven't released it yet. There will be a nice RSS button added soon to subscribe to the podcast. :)

Backnine - Amen to the overpriced tea.

Music has been mentioned a couple of times - what genres do you guys like? We're so all over the place in the office as to our likes/dislikes. It's hard to pick a type of music to use, but I think that genre-hopping may feel a bit disjointed. Thoughts?

Julianne, I'm using whatever executive veto power I might have to rule out techno. Anything but techno.

Original Comment by: Jorge Azpurua

How can you betray the video gamers who love repetitive electronic music? Techno is a natural thing to use for a VG-based podcast. Alternatively, you could contact the webmaster at and ask him to use some of their stuff. The non-techno-but-still-video-game-music stuff.

Back on topic: good stuff so far guys. There are some sound quality issues, but it was a fast download, so not a big deal.

Original Comment by: Mory Buckman
I'm sorry, but I don't get it.

Most of this "beta" episode gave me no reason to believe that the podcast format could be illuminating in ways the magazine and blog can't. At any point, it seems like there is one person talking while the others merely voice agreement or laugh at casual jokes. This is redundant, because both other mediums already serve as excellent outlets for individual speech. Better outlets, in fact, since the written word is more conducive to concise and elegant expression. GAP is a good idea, but it would work better as a regular feature of the Lounge than it does in audio. On the other hand, the interview format is more promising, and I look forward to hearing from professionals on topical issues in the future.

I think the big opportunity that has not yet been realized here is the possibility for debates. It's not interesting to listen to one person ranting while others agree; It's very interesting to hear two people with radically different positions argue (in a civilized manner, of course) two different sides of an issue. Maybe this is an unreasonable request, but I would very much like to hear discussions between an "artist" perspective and a "businessman" perspective, for instance. Without having two viewpoints, the format is pointless.

Finally, I must echo the criticisms of the sound quality. The balancing is off, but more irritating are the frequent breathing-into-the-microphone sounds. Also, there is a lot of background noise. This unprofessionalism is at odds with the impressive job you consistently pull off on the magazine. As for music, please leave it out. Even used only as a bookend, it would probably be rather annoying. I would prefer that you address the more critical issues first.

Original Comment by: Henry Borchers

one comment. Please use an audio compressor on the audio before encoding and submitting it. The volume is too quiet at points and too loud at others. Plus either buy pop filter for about $10 or make one.

Original Comment by: Henry Borchers

Ok, I do have another comment. As for the Ebert and movies vs video games argument. Citizen Kane is all about choices. That is the whole point of the deep staging. This all comes from the French film theorist Andre Bazin. The point with deep staging is that you have the freedom to look at what you want. Because there are many different levels of spaces to look at, you are choosing to look at one thing or another and making meaning from them. The ending shot of Citizen Kane presents an ambiguous meaning.

However, I have not read the exact argument from Ebert so I can not truly respond. Do you have an exact quote of his?

From Roger Ebert's "Answer Man" Column

Third question down is the first place I had heard of it. He now has 3 Commentary Columns discussing it.

Original Comment by: Christopher S. \'coldacid\' Charabaruk
I'm with Mory Buckman on the audio quality. You guys need to learn how to properly speak into a mic, and please, don't use MP3 compression. You should really use something like Ogg Speex, which is actually meant for voice recordings and VoIP. That may help to eliminate some of the background hissing.

Also, Henry Borchers is right on about the volume. Normalise the recording before you encode so that the volume is consistent throughout. I had to stop listening about three minutes in because I couldn't keep adjusting my volume. (He's also right about the pop filter.)

Given the magazine, I expected something more professional-sounding from the 'cast.

Original Comment by: Henry Borchers

You can build a pop filter easily with a coat hanger and nylon. And when I mentioned a compressor I was not talking about a file compression, instead I'm talking about an audio compressor which compresses the audio signal so that the loud parts and the quiet parts are closer together.

I only bring this up because I love the escapist. I refer to it as the greatest thing to come to the internet since internet porn.

Original Comment by: Littlest Ninja
LOVED it! I'd love to see this make it to iTunes so I can subscribe. Levels were a little wonky. I had iTunes and my computer volume turned all the way up and I still had a really hard time hearing some people.

Please make more!!! I loved it!

Original Comment by: Shawn Williams
What about an RSS feed for the podcast? Or is it somewhere, completely obvious, and I'm blindly wandering past it? I tried to get my almighty iPodder to snag the rss feed, but it can't seem to spot it. Is that coming, or am I terribly blind?

Original Comment by: BacksideNine
aorry it took awhile here.

music: im sure the indie rock scene will gladly give the throw downs on tunes. Something mellow, iron and wine or OH OH OH Portishead.

Or you could go all coast to coast on us and use some Blue Oyster Cult: dont fear the reaper. Bump music should be as varied and random as the articles.

So long as its not the same Clinic song for every podcast, i will nod in approval.

So when is the next one due out?

As always, thanks for the feedback. There are some great ideas here for equipment, and we are looking at options. Because of that, and the holidays, we are going to be a while in getting the next one out.

coldacid - Yeah, the production quality wasn't quite where we wanted it to be either. So, we wanted to open it up to the more casual blog area and get some feedback, so thanks.

Shawn - We have an RSS, but we haven't set it up as yet. We were waiting until we get the pod where we want it to be, technically and format-wise, before we set it up.

Ninja - Glad you liked it. Yeah, the volume is a problem, but hopefully once we figure out some new equipment, that will get worked out.

Nine - thanks for the thoughts on music. Will ponder these.

Original Comment by: Shawn Williams
Oh, uh, I'm a jerk - I also meant to say that I really liked it. ;) There were some technical problems, like everyone has already harped on, but I loved the discussion, loved the interaction between you guys. But when do we get to hear Alex's comments?

Deleted, forum error or something posted this to the wrong thread.


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