It’s been a long tough week of vacationing for the Jumping the Shark crew, with Brandon and Danielle each taking well-earned weeks off, but Todd, Bill, and Tom Chick hold down the fort just in time to ring in the new year. This week, Bill feels the age in the bones of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and wonders just why Ezio doesn’t seem to as well. Tom tells us why All Zombies Must Die and shares with us the single strangest reason we’ve ever heard for having given the Gears of War Season Pass a tryout. And Todd sinks deeper and deeper into the galactic politics of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Start 2012 off right, with Episode 104 of Jumping the Shark! After the break, a request for feedback and a look at what’s ahead for the show in 2012…
With 2011 mercifully at an end we’ve been talking about what we want the show to be going forward. We’re obviously very proud of having kept this thing going for over a hundred episodes and very grateful to all of you for continuing to tune in. That said, if you’ve been listening to the show for awhile I suspect you’ll have started to notice the same trends we have – things are getting a bit stale.
More bluntly, I’ve seen the comment “circling the drain” more than once, which makes me sad. As a bunch of mostly part-timers in this business, we’re really not going to try and compete with podcasts from people working exclusively at full-time outlets, generating two tons of interviews and whatnot. We also don’t think the two-part format is working for us anymore, leading to needlessly longer shows that often feature topics selected purely for the sake of having a topic. The sense of fun is ebbing and this show doesn’t work if we’re not having fun doing it.
So, going forward, here is the highly-tentative, and sure to evolve as we go, plan: First, we are ditching the two-part, weekly topic format in favor of a simple, hopefully one hour or less, format in which we’ll end up discussing whatever is of most interest to us that given week. That could be what we’ve been playing, could be some piece of news in the industry, or a more general gaming topic. The point and the goal is to get back to the feel of a dinner conversation at the CPK where we’re all fully invested in the discussion and keep it brief enough that we don’t feel compelled to multitask during the show, which is what happens when you’re tied to that desk for over two straight hours every single week.
Speaking of which, some of you have noticed our audio quality has dipped in recent months – there’s more noise in the background, sometimes some garbled speech, and more instances where we talk over each other. You can blame me for most of that. As I’ve discussed before, I have two editing options for the show. One is single-track Skype recordings where there are almost zero editing options and the other is multitrack, in which I can do infinitely more to make us all sound good… Or at least better.
Unfortunately, while the latter produces a much higher-quality show, it takes twice as long to do. I simply can’t spare the time to spend four to six hours editing the show every single week, which is what it takes when we have two hours of recorded audio every week. As Bill would say,”I got shit to do.” With the new, hopefully shorter format, I’m hoping I can go back to the old multitrack edit process, but how I edit will remain a week-to-week decision. Regardless, though, we are collectively going to do our best to avoid the sorts of sometimes distracting multitasking that occasionally goes on, which should also help.
All that established, we’re also interested in what you think. In the end we’re gonna do what we’re gonna do, but we’d also love to know what you like and dislike about the show right now and if you have avenues you’d like to see us go down in the future. Now is the time and this is the place. It’s been an amazing run so far and I know we’d all like to see it continue.
Welcome to 2012! We’re expecting a great year!