I have this idea that game communities are more stable when you have the chance to have good, brief experiences in that game’s world. Many computer games are striving for this now: you can play for half and hour and get something concrete done, then save and come back to it for another meaningful session. An Ars game that’s under two hours doesn’t have much of a story, so it can’t be little in character vignettes.

There are some in-fandom things that you can do for a good half hour of Ars immersion. You can stat up something. You can read the latest Sub Rosa. You can listen to Arcane Connection, I think there should be more material like that.

My most recent project in that direction, my vlog, failed, because I didn’t udnerstand the scope of the effort required. Wheezy Waiter, who is a vlogger extraordinaire, takes about an hour to make a four minute video. There’s no way I can justify that sort of time, when I could be researching, writing, or just putting arrows in people in Skyrim.

I am, however, something of a podcaster.  I release a heap of material through Librivox, and currently I’m churning out a chapter a fortnight (one per month on each of the two books I’m recording), so I’ve been thinking about that seriously as a future direction. I’ve mentioned it on the Ars forum, and the response has basically been “Meh?” which is a bit of a pity.

The set-up is easier if I just throw money at it, which I may do, or free if I learn how to do it via WordPress and Community Audio, which I might do instead: if anyone has a preferred platform, speak up in the comments.  Also, I will need to check with Atlas about how it works, because there’s usually a monetization model on the eay-to-use sites.

As a starting point I need to get scripts together, and it occurs to me that my Mythic Perspectives and Hermes Portal articles had reversion clauses in their contracts, so that’s a lot of material I could rework. I was also thinking of some sort of loose structure, so say I wanted to do something each week, there’s be a rotation of, for example, Treasures, Monsters, Places, Hooks.So, I know I’m shooting the breeze a bit here, but if I went ahead with it, I’d like to get my at together for this in a way far beyond what I did for the vlog, then script and produce 12 episodes before it went live.  That’s particularly important if I do pay a podcast hosting firm. That means I can’t just do one and let people tell me what they think, I need to get a sort of pre-feedback.

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14 replies on “So, thinking about a podcast…

  1. Well, for what it’s worth, there were 2 reasons I wasn’t more enthusiast with you producing more Ars material:
    The first is that, as a non-native speaker, I have trouble understanding spoken english. THe second is one of personal taste: I can print text, save interesting bits on my phone for future references, go back to a specific point, more easily than with video.
    But, well, I prefer you doing more than less, so if you feel like it, go for it! 🙂

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    1. That’s fair enough…I’d not considered it because all of my podcasting is from texts on the web, so I hadn’t thought of it not having a published script. I do see the point, though.

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  2. I think you need to have another person on your podcast. Otherwise it’s just one person on a rant. With two people there can be a conversation, ideas can be challenged, discussed

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    1. I agree with Chris (although sadly my time is lacking currently so this is not an offer to fly wingman). 2 voices and discussion is much more interactive and broadens the appeal.

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    2. Hrrrm, true but not possible at the moment. It might be best to bench this idea and do something else with the time.

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  3. If I may suggest, what are young to do, what end do you want to achieve with a podcast?

    It’s just that recently you have done a video, posted on forum, talked about collaborative fiction, talked about audio books for the fiction, argued for Arm6, posted about economics books, posted here on blog and now a podcast. (Yes I am stalking you)

    Is it rude of me to ask what you are looking to achieve? That might guide you into the right media for you. Eg are you looking for a dialogue about ArM? Do you want a soapbox,an audience? A learned argument? Competitive or a challenge?

    If you know result you want to see then the right media might suggest it self.

    If you want my opinion there is a desperate need for an ArM fiction novel.

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    1. Oh, personal amusement, mostly. Some of these experiments are useful in terms of my professional life (I’m a librarian who does some social media, so I have to blog for work), but basically it’s for the fun…

      The thing is, Quinchris, I already podcast, so it wouldn’t be a new thing for me. I publish about half an hour of podcasts per week, but because Librivox makes books go live on a book-by-book basis, it means they tend to drop in 25 hour chunks (except if I do a play,or something…but you get the point.). Basically I’d just do fewer books a year for LV and do a podcast.

      I post on the forum when it interests me, and the argument for ArM6 isn’t new, it’s something that we’ve been doing since about two weeks after ArM5 came out.

      So, basically amusement in the Ars metagame.

      Why do you think Ars needs a novel?

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      1. Partly it’s because most game systems seem to have a novel tie in.
        Partly because it’s a good to convey the setting. I still remember the chapter fiction in the 3rd and 4th editions.
        There is a lot of setting material with societies, mysteries, mystery cults, hedges, rivals, ancient secrets and tribunals. Having a novel would show how you could tie it all in to one single campaign.

        But mostly it’s because I really what to read one.

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        1. I’m not sure all of the material is meant to be used together. The Mysteries, for example: there’s no way to fit all of them into a single Europe. There are just too many guys.

          As to the novel…I think one problem with it is that many of the stories you could tell, you might just tell on their own terms. I’ve had a few shots at fiction for Ars, and I used the odd nature of Ars faries for one, and the deep history for the order for another, but a lot of the other stories I’m thinking about could be told without Ars behind them, which might make them more commercialisable if that interested me.

          So, say I’m interested in writing a story in which a guy finds an ancient Greek theatrical mask, and it gives him superpowers, and it’s set in turn of the millennium Amalfi…I can do that in Ars (and indeed, will be doing it in Ars) but if I was interested in it eventually becoming a novel or raphic novel, isn’t it simpler just to disentangle the intellectual property at the start?

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          1. You could do that. Or you could do the exact opposite, tell an Ars Magica story in a completely new setting. For example The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. This is very obviously
            Arm4 with (some) of the serial numbers removed.

            For me it would be to see a very complex magic system brought to life. To see virtues and flaws in a real character with context rather than just as a game mechanic. To see Houses, Trubunals and Covenants engaged in politics, competition and conflict.

            I suppose it depends on how you see stories.

            It is a man traveling somewhere against opposition? Whether it is to Mt Doom, to the Death Star or to tribunal the setting is irrelevant, and even interchangeable.

            Or is the setting Tolkien, Star Wars or Ars Magica and you just want to tell a story in that setting.

            I don’t read a Star Wars novel because there is a story about finding a magical mask. I read it because it a story about finding Boba Fett’s helmet and thats awesome.

            For me the setting is important, particularly in fantasy/sci fi.

            For me the best example is Peter f Hamilton’s novels, where much of the story is taken up with exploring the universe he has created.

            I want to read a story that explores the ArM world. No you don’t have to use all the Mystery Cults or Rivals or anything else.

            Just my thoughts in no particular order or intent.

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  4. So, I think it’s kind of obvious now that the attempts at community building I’ve been working on were because I knew that David was going to resign. I thought it would be later (after Dies Irae came out).

    Does this context change the discussion about what sorts of material I should be looking at producing?

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    1. Again I think it depends what you want to get out of it? The only only thing that really changes is that there is now an opening to be the new David and run 6th edition. I don’t know if at.asvalready gave some one in mind

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  5. I hate word press. As I was saying I don’t known if atlas already have some one in mind to run 6th edition but if not they will be keeping their eyes open to see if there any obvious choices. By taking a leadership role now you could become the obvious choice.

    Again this relates to my earlier comments a few weeks ago, what do you want to get out of this? Friends, writing partners, an audience of fans, disciples?

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    1. I honestly do not think that “being the new David” is in play. 8) I presume that’s Cam.

      I’d like to keep the volunteer community around the game together. I think it may fragment as authors and potential authors move on to other interests.

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