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Why I made an Undertale Podcast

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For the last four months, I’ve been working on a project with my friend Jules. I never really expressed my feelings about Undertale here, so I needed another outlet. This is it.

A few years ago, a Warcraft expert whose writing I kept an eye on started talking about Chrono Trigger with a colleague. They had the extremely rare bonus of having Dayani, a fully formed adult who is into video games but who has basically not played any of the classics that were formative for many of my age – allowing for a literally fresh perspective for the podcast. I even met her, over a year ago, when we ended up on the same WoW beta server, testing a raid together. She wrote for wowhead back then, I made my first public minimalist guide.

Meeting someone you’ve listened to for years and whose emotional opinions about Robo you understand is like meeting a celebrity.

They have done a bunch of games now, you can even find them as Old Game Plus on podcast apps or here.

I still have really strong emotions about Undertale and needed to express them. But a lot of it is about music, often specific moments in music. Conveying that in blog posts just doesn’t work that well. Basically, my hand was forced, I had to make a podcast despite being more of a written-word type of person. Here are some thoughts about how that worked out:

Self-criticism: 

  • The big disadvantage with Undertalk is that my co-host Jules isn’t going in blind. Finding someone like that would have been near-impossible.
  • I probably sound  way too lecture-y, that’s just the kind of person I am. No amount of editing or acting could cover that up.
  • You will also notice how, while talking about snowdin, we are still struggling to find our style and going beat by beat, which we abandon more later on.
  • I’m sure a professional sound person would have decided on other music volumes (probably lower) and would have somehow mastered all the episodes. I just did those things by ear, comparing the volume to professional productions.
  • We’re not on any podcast apps. That would have been our first choice, but: You have to have permanent webspace to set up the feed for those. I can’t afford to pay for webspace for the indefinite future, and the moment we stop paying the podcast disappears. So it is just youtube for now.
  • And to be super honest: I think the first two episodes aren’t that fun, partially because the game isn’t that fun yet at these points. It is necessary build-up to the last three.

Self-praise:

  • I think my cutting did wonders. While recording (but not really in the real world), Jules stutters. I take long breaks to think between phrases. Basically none of that is left in the final versions. We joked that we should just release an alternate version of the podcast that is only the bits I removed. This is actually how this joke in the trailer happened – that’s just the stuttering from a 19 second long clip.
  • I also always wanted to try this format of „Primarily audio with sometimes pictures, but you get told when one shows up“, which is well within my editing skills.
  • The intermission sound Dog Residue also worked really well. I just manually put the sounds in opposite order to create the „intermission over“ variant.
  • The cover art is done by our friend Sam who knows how to art. I hoped to get him for the last episode partially because he’s a top grade Mettaton, but he was too shy.
  • I like Youtube end cards. I hope they guide users to the next episode much more efficiently than the „related“ tab does.
  • The best episode is likely the last one – just because my other friends are in there to talk about miscellaneous stuff. If we ever make another project, I would probably mix up who is with us constantly to have more of those fresh opinions.

If sam hadn’t made the art, this would have been our cover. Because all I can do is paint.

Inspiration: The cold open and intermission sound ideas I took directly from Hello Internet, the undefeated champion of Podcasts carried by the personality and interplay of their hosts. People who know me know how much CGP Grey fits my lifestyle. I also tried my best to do basically no intro meta talk at the start of episodes, a quality I learned from Tankcast, a WoW Podcast. Basically „Hello“, then content.

Both Jules and I have listened to so many podcasts in the last 4 years that, honestly, the advertisements are kind of spilling out of our ears. We strongly considered doing a joke advert where we say „This episode of Undertalk is brought to you by: Nobody. We don’t have ads, partially because we expect to have 100 viewers max“, but even that felt like too much so it isn’t in there. We still have some jokes about Audible and Casper recorded, maybe we’ll use them some other time.

But the main body of Undertalk is really, really inspired by Old Game Plus. It is basically an OG+ fan-work. I even set it to release on mondays, alternating with the release schedule of OG+. At the time of writing, Dayani hasn’t had time to play Undertale yet, I hope she’ll like the dogs and the talk about food in the fifth episode though. I don’t measure success of this show in views (if we wanted to be popular, we wouldn’t be talking about indie games 2 years after their release), I will measure it in Dayani approval. (Hamlet and  Ghostcrawler are probably really too busy to ever listen, balancing success on them would be too much.)

Undertalk is five episodes long and releases every second monday. The remaining episodes launch on October 2nd and 16th 2017.
If that time has passed, they’re all out by now.

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Written by vetaro

10. September 2017 um 11:42 am

Veröffentlicht in Uncategorized

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