One of the best things we’ve done is start a video game podcast. Gimmick, Virindi Puppet, and I look forward to each week sitting down to discuss video games and share our conversations with the world. We don’t see podcasting as a chore, but a fun hobby that only increases our passion for video games.
Do you love video games AND podcasts? Are you curious whether you have what it takes to start a gaming podcast? Are you wondering how to start a video game podcast? You’ve come to the right place! In this post we will walk you through seven easy steps to start a video game podcast.
The 7 Easy Steps to Starting a Gaming Podcast
- Decide what aspect of gaming your podcast will be about
- Name your podcast
- Planning your episodes
- Get the proper equipment and software
- Recording & Producing
- Publish it for the world to listen!
- Building a community of listeners
These are the seven steps! Don’t worry, we’ll make sure to carefully explain each step below.
Step 1: Decide what aspect of gaming your podcast will be about
You’ve already decided that you’ll be creating a podcast with video games as the subject, but what angle will your gaming podcast take. Are you going to be talking about retro video games, video game culture, Nintendo 64 games, PC games, only MMORPG’s, mobile games? Will your podcast cover gaming news or will each episode be a video game review? There isn’t a right answer to this question, but you should know what aspect of gaming your podcast will cover.
It’s ok if your video game podcast covers a range of gaming subjects, but make this decision early on. A few examples of gaming podcasts and what they cover below.
- 8-4 Play focuses primarily on Japan and Japanese video games. Occasionally they’ll talk about other subjects, but they’re mostly focused on Japanese gaming.
- Drop Zone only talks about the game Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. That’s it! They’ve chosen this one game and discuss patches, gameplay, strategies, and news that relates to PUBG.
- Rom of the Week picks a single retro game each week and they try their hardest to beat it. They go through the classics and talk about what makes each game unique, challenging, and fun.
Step 2: Name your podcast
Naming a podcast can be easy for some and very difficult for others. Here are the three ways you can go about naming your video game podcast.
The Uniquely Clever Podcast Name
Perhaps you’ve come up with a unique, clever name for your video game podcast. The nice thing with such a name is that it’s memorable and unique. The issue with such a name is that it can be hard for people to find your show if they don’t know the name.
Our podcast Hey You Video Game falls into this category. While it does have video game in the title it doesn’t explain what the podcast is about. We thought it was a title that was fun to say, and so we kept it. If you choose this route for you name, make sure to describe your podcast well in the tagline. A random example…. Pixelated Purpose! – Finding meaning and purpose in playing video games!
The Descriptive Podcast Name
This method of naming your podcast makes it incredibly easy for people to search and find your podcast. If your podcast is called “The Nintendo Switch Podcast” people will automatically assume that your show is all about the Nintendo Switch. It may not be the most exciting name, but it makes it easy for people to find and know what your podcast is about.
The Self-Titled Podcast
Some of the most popular podcasts in the world are named after their hosts. Two popular examples are the Joe Rogan Experience and The Ricky Gervais Show. You could go this route, but we don’t recommend it. Most people who are able to title their shows after themselves are already popular and famous. But hey! who are we to say that you can’t be!
Step 3: Planning your episodes
You’ve decided what aspect of gaming you’ll discuss and given your podcast a name, now it’s time to start brainstorming about the actual episodes themselves.
How long should a podcast episode be?
The length of a podcast episode depends on your content. The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t remove great content to keep an episode within a time frame, and at the same time you wouldn’t want to keep mediocre content to ensure that your podcast is a specific length.
Every show is different. Our recommendation is that you decide on a proper time for the content you’re creating and try to keep all episodes within that time frame. Your listeners won’t appreciate it if every episode varies tremendously in length. Personally we’ve found that the 1 hour mark works well for our show. Sometimes we have a shorter/longer show depending on the material, but we try hard to keep it in that range for our listeners.
How often should I publish new podcast episodes?
Human beings are creatures of habit. They have their routines, traditions, and habits that happen on a weekly basis. Fortunately podcasts can become part of a weekly routine.
The answer to this question, once again, is dependent on your content. With this said, we’d argue and recommend that you release a new podcast once a week. People plan their podcast listening to a particular day and time. If you’re releasing consistently at the same time you’re allowing listeners to plan your podcast into their weekly schedule.
There is an exception to this. Don’t release a podcast if it’s no good. Not releasing for a week is better than releasing a poorly made episode. You’ll do far more damage with a terribly, quickly made episode than missing a deadline for one week.
Pro Tip – Record at least one extra episode to have on hand in case you’re unable to record/edit an episode on a week.
What should I title my podcast episodes?
Similar to choosing the name for your gaming podcast you should choose clear, easy-to-search, descriptive titles for your episodes. You want to make it abundantly clear what a listener is going to listen to. Are you discussing the video game Super Smash Brothers Melee? Name the episode Super Smash Brothers Melee.
We keep the HYVG podcasts in numerical order by titling them “#4 – Grand Theft Auto V” or “#7 – Our Top 3 Video Games.” Listeners can see what episode number they’re listening to, and know exactly what the episode is about.
Step 4: Get the proper equipment and software
The necessary equipment you need to record a podcast is a microphone, computer, and editing software. While not always the case, the cheaper your equipment and setup is, the lower the sound quality of your podcast will be. With this said, you can pay for a relatively low cost microphone that can produce great quality sound. In fact, we would recommend purchasing a more budget-priced microphone and testing the podcast waters before dishing out lots of money for the best audio equipment on the market.
We’re big fans of the Blue Yeti microphone. It’s incredibly popular amongst the podcasting community, and has a good balance between quality, features, and price. The Blue Yeti allows you to choose between multiple recording options from where the sound will pick up from.
BLUE YETI USB MICROPHONE
Headphone Port – Yes
Connects to Computer Through USB
Recording Options – Cardioid, Stereo, Omnidirectional, Bi-directional
Function – Condenser
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The “bi-directional” option will record sound from both sides of the microphone, and is perfect for interviews or co-hosted shows where there’s an individual on each side of the mic. The “omnidirectional” option records sound from all directions (great for table discussions!) and the “cardioid” is for when it’s just you talking into the mic.
If you’re an Apple user you most likely have Garageband installed on your computer. This is a popular audio recording and editing software. Most of the time this is the program that we use for our podcast. We’ve found super helpful guides for Audacity and GarageBand on YouTube.
Step 5: Recording and Producing Your Video Game Podcast
You’ve hit the record button! Here’s a few tips and tricks while recording.
1. Have a script/outline with you during recording. This helps keep you on track with what you’ve planned to talk about on the episode. It’s easy to get off track (not always a bad thing!), and an outline/script can keep you focused.
2. When talking into the microphone imagine that you’re talking to a person. This may sound weird at first, but trust me, it helps to imagine that you have an audience right there in your studio, living room, office, or wherever you record. It helps shape your dialogue in a way that is approachable, and easy to understand. You want your listeners to feel like you are talking straight to them.
3. Buy a pop filter and use it. This will help eliminate bursts of air from you speaking especially when you say words that start with P and T. This is the one we use for our Blue Yeti.
4. The perfect distance for most mics is four fingers’ width. This is a common problem with many podcast recordings. You don’t want to be too far away from your microphone, because you’ll have to raise the gain (mic sensitivity) which in turn will pick up more room noises. At the same time you don’t want to get too close to the mic, because it’ll pick up mouth noises and breathing.
5. Avoid noise around the mic. Touching the mic will create unwanted noise. Make sure your not sitting on a squeaky chair, or that your mic is picking up the sound of your fan, refridgerator, or any other background noises.
Step 6: Publish it for the world to listen!
Once you’ve finished editing you’ll need to export your final audio. To get your podcast into the ears of listeners, you’ll need a podcast host. Podcast hosts store the audio of your podcast and allow listeners to listen, download, and subscribe to your podcast.We’re big fans of the podcast host BuzzSprout. They’re simple, keep stats on your podcast, and make it easy to submit your podcast to iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast directories. The best part is that their basic plan is free. You can have 2 hours of audio a month without a fee.
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Step 7: Building a community of listeners
The last important step is developing a community of listeners. When we first started we imagined naively that listeners would appear from thin air, but this is not the case. Once you’ve published your podcast you’ll need to start promoting and sharing your podcast with the world. We cannot emphasize the importance of creating social media accounts for your podcast. Join Twitter, Facebook, Instagram at the very least and start sharing your podcast.
The key is not to only to promote your podcast, but join in on discussions on social media that are related to your podcast. We have found that starting a video game podcast is the easy part, and that getting the word out is the challenging part of the process. Find conversations around the internet (or elsewhere) that relate to your podcast episodes and contribute meaningful discussion while promoting your podcast when appropriate.