As a reader said 2.5 years ago, "let's make a podcast!"
Us! Diii.net, diablo.incgamers.com, The Unofficial Site, the thorn in Bliz Irvine PR's paw, etc, are starting up The Diablo Podcast very shortly, and we're looking for Diablo community members who want to participate semi-regularly. To play along you'll need skype, a high speed connection, headphones/mic, good ability to speak/understand English, at least half an hour to chat every now and then, and a passion for some aspect of Diablo III or online gaming in general. You do not have to be an expert on everything about Diablo III, and in some ways it's better if you are not. See the background/theory section below for an explanation.
What I'm looking for right now are fans who really care about some aspect of the game, positively or negative. Do you love the Wizard and magery style of play and think melee chars shouldn't even be in the game? Do you know all about Diablo's lore and want to discuss it in comparison to other fantasy/scifi? Do you love fantasy movies and want to talk about how a diablo movie could be made? Do you play WoW even though you hate the cartoony look of it and read and reread every item about the art controversy while bitter tears roll down your cheeks? Do you love modding and think D3 will suck since Bliz is doing all they can to prevent it? Then I want to hear from you!
These are not (necessarily) specific examples. They're more to give you an idea of the sort or thing we're looking for. Interesting discussion on items in the news and other major issues in the Diablo 3 community, from unique perspectives and people with strong opinions. We'll also cover the recent news, of course, especially when something big has just happened, but the goal is to make TDP much more indepth and varied in topic and presentation.
You are more than encouraged to pitch ideas and to recommend yourself or others as guests. You guys have hundreds of great ideas for podcast discussions that I've never thought of. Reply in this thread, or send me a PM or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you're interested. (I will also post regular requests for people with a specific area of knowledge/expertise, so if you're not feeling it right now, you might in the future.)
We're planning to release these weekly.I'll be the main host, and in each installment I'll basically basically interview/discuss various topics with you guys, and a wide variety of other guests. (Some of my RL friends who have expertise in various areas, plus several ex-Bliz North guys, plus some other RPG devs are already lined up as future guests, and we certainly hope Bashiok or others on the D3 team will want to play, though I kind of doubt they'll be allowed to, the way BI PR is these days.)
Background and Theory
As I said at the top, we nearly started a podcast back in 2008. At that time I'd talked extensively to Kym about it via email, and we were planning on a co-host format with occasional guests who were experts on various topics about the game, such as lore. (Honestly, that was a half-assed plan, since lore was the only area we ever really imagined experts in, mostly because that was the aspect of the Diablo series I wasn't well-versed in.)
That podcast never started, since shortly before we were going to get rolling, Kym nearly died in a car crash, spent a month in the hospital, and apparently redefined his life priorities afterward, as he left the diablo gaming community. :(
Back then, podcasts were still fairly new and uncharted territory, and while I thought the idea was cool (if possibly too soon for D3, since I figured it would be 2010 or later for a release) I did not have any real idea how it would be structured. Which is why Kym was doing most of the organization, and why I didn't go ahead and start it myself after he dropped out of sight.
Ever since then we've planned to run a Diablo podcast at some point, at least once the beta started. And as I've listened to podcasts over the years (mostly for my non-gaming interests) I've always considered how they were structured, and thought how I'd run one of my own, focused on the Diablo community. Those thoughts have grown more urgent since Blizzard has begun making believable noises about the beta starting later this year, and lately I've been talking a lot to Elly and Rush about how we could run a podcast, since they ran one on IncGamers for over a year, and may relaunch it again at some point.
There are a lot of other gaming podcasts these days, but most of the ones I've listened to (more for research more than personal interest) follow a fairly standard formula. 2 or 3 fans of a game or gaming, all fairly well informed about the topic, talk about recent news events in a semi-lectury style. Occasionally they get fantastically excited when they have a PR guy or game dev on the show, who they proceed to question in the most fawning, subservient, "your every blessed world is spun gold, my dearest friend" fashion.
That approach is simple and easy to do, but it's only as interesting as the people talking. (Which often means "not very.") Those sorts of pods are most valuable for noobs to a game or community, since they're informative. (Except of course noobs don't know they exist.) They're much less interesting/useful for people already in the community, since the pod isn't telling them anything they don't already know, and since the people running such pods are generally "fawnsite" types, they're unlikely to talk about anything controversial or point any real criticism at the game dev.
I don't exactly have a "favorite" podcast, but the one I listen to most often is by a sports writer on ESPN.com named Bill Simmons. His is structured a lot like TDP will be, Simmons hosts and in each pod he interviews/converses with someone with a particular area of expertise. Usually just his friends who are into some aspect of sports, with regular celebrity guests. But celebs who can talk and are experts in their field; NBA commissioner David Stern, for instance, rather than just some random mush-mouthed NBA player.
I also like the style of Simmons' pods, since they run 40-60 minutes, go in depth, and aren't afraid to follow a good train of conversation even if it goes off topic. I'd much rather listen to a interesting discussion that digresses from the main point than to people who stay exactly on topic and have little of interest to say about it. (A sentence that pretty well sums up my objection to the style of conversation on the vast majority of gaming pods I've listened to.)
I realize some people will disagree with me on this point of style. Those people will probably think TDP goes OT too often, or too often focuses on slightly obscure aspects of gaming or Diablo. If that's you, then you just might not care for TDP. Alas.
And of course TDP will evolve over time, and some shows will have more of a general news focus while others will be largely about specific issues, like the art controversy, or RMT, or the best/worst monsters in D2, etc. I've got a lot planned for the months/years to come.