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#PPAMonth Podcast Roundtable #7

PPA Month Roundtable
Time to go around the roundtable one last time!

We are now in the final week of Pokemon Podcast Appreciation Month. This is the final roundtable to feature with these wonderful content creators. We have asked several Pokemon podcasters several different questions regarding the podcasting process. These questions focus on music, branding and their favorite memory regarding podcasting. We took those responses and are now bringing it to you. Today, we are giving you our last batch of responses and hope that you enjoy them just as much as I have.

We have received several different responses from different Pokemon podcasts. The idea with these Podcast Roundtable is feature a variety of different podcasts and how they respond to similar questions. After all, a Pokemon tabletop podcast will response differently to questions compare to a Pokemon anime podcast.

Below are the podcasts that we will feature in today’s Podcast Roundtable.
Not a Scratch (Tabletop)
PokeMoms (Tabletop)
PokePress Digest (Anime)
Reckless Rollers (Tabletop)
Pokemon Rollout (Tabletop)

Now that you know who we have at the table, lets go see how they reply to our questions!

1: What lets you know that you made a great podcast episode?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): There are really two major factors that we feel contribute to a great podcast episode. If progress is made in the story and (if) all of us had fun, all of us feel as though the episode was a success!
PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): It’s a good session when we’ve had a blast. We hope that translates to our listeners!
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): The more I learned in the process, the better it was. If I learned something, my audience probably did too.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): To me, if by the end of the episode, the players are either hyped up, or wondering “What just happened right there?” I feel it’ll usually end up as a really good episode.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): If we’re laughing throughout, we know it’s great, because the whole point is to do something that we enjoy. It’s also telling if we’re just pumped and excited to play. When Nick leaves us hanging and we are thirsting for more, we know that it’s been good.

2: What kind of feeling do you wish your listeners would get from listening to your podcast?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): There’s always the hope that listeners are anxious to listen to the next episode with the question of, “What’s going to happen next time due to the events in the last episode?”.

Our podcast, being a more-kid friendly podcast, tries to create the feeling you get when exploring a new world, with a sense of wonder and anticipation.

PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): A good laugh! We want to spread laughter and know when you listen to a PokeMoms episode, you’re in for a funny, easy going time.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): I’m not sure this counts as a feeling, but I hope they gain a deeper appreciation for the music and other material we discuss. I also hope it gives them a better understanding of the folks involved.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): I want listeners to get the same feeling that we get while playing through the story: A sense of familiarity with the setting, as well as that little tickle of intrigue where you don’t quite know what’ll happen next.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): We want people to be excited and happy. There’s a good deal of nostalgia in Pokemon in general, and we love making it our own. That sense of personal investment and freedom to create is something we want people to be left with.

3: What is your thought process when it comes to picking music for your podcast?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): From the episodes edited so far, we’ve used two different sources for music. TableTop Audio provides a great natural setting, whether looking for the sounds of a garden or a dark void. For moments that are attempting to be “normal”, they’ve got fantastic music to fit that setting.

When it comes to battles or more high key events, GlitchxCity is the person to turn to. It might be because we’ve been listening to her music for a long time, but we definitely feel as though she’s one of the best in the business!

PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): Since we record so far in advance, I have a bit to think about the feeling of the episode. I go on YouTube for copyright free music and listen for what grabs me and matches the right moments in the episode.

Occasionally we use music that’s not copyright free when we’re making a reference but we got like what, 5 listeners? Nobody cares about our small little podcast breakin’ a few laws like the cool guys we are.

PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): If we’re doing a movie, the tracks are pretty much already decided (endings, openings, and score).

If we’re covering a game, it’s usually a combination of which songs I like the most and which ones I find the most interesting. Similar for topic-based episodes.

Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): For the most part, I make the music with certain types of moods or scenes in mind for them. If I can’t make something that fits the right feel for the scene or atmosphere, I’ve got a few other sources to dive into to help me set the mood.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): That’s an ongoing question. We want the tone to mesh pretty well with the action, and we want listeners to be able to visualize the story. Early on we were going for a little more of a video-game feel, but lately we’re making it more real.

The addition of music by Peter Lonnquist has been a tremendous blessing, as his talent and vision just bolster the excitement of each episode. He makes the story come alive.

4: How do you handle the structure of your podcast? Why is it structured a certain way in segments?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): The podcast is recorded in one go, and attempts to capture that feeling one gets when playing with friends. The music transitions attempt to provide moments of debrief for the audience, as they not only understand the event that just occurred, but prepare for the next one!
PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): It’s pretty loose and freeform- I edit based on the story and finish the episode when we’ve reached a cohesive narrative conclusion around an hour mark. If it’s shorter or longer, that’s what I go with.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): I started the podcast in 2016 mainly as a way to increase exposure for my interviews and discussions, which are recorded at separate times in separate locations, so the structure naturally followed from that.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): So, our main campaign has two different kinds of sessions, which I call the “T Sessions” and the “P Sessions.” The T Sessions are from the perspective of the trainers as they take part in their journey, and the P Sessions are from the perspective of one of the trainer’s Pokemon.

I have it set up that way because the Pokemon are living, thinking creatures, and main characters in their own right, so they deserve some of the spotlight, too, y’know?

Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): The structure is essentially dictated by story. Nick has almost total command of the whole thing, and he keeps an eye on time so that we don’t go too long. But we don’t want to cut anything short.

Listeners will want a chapter of the story that has clear beginning, middle, and end, even within a single episode. And we as players want that too.

5: What kind of style do you think your podcast has?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): To be honest, it’s difficult to pin down a specific style that our podcast has, mainly because we borrow from a number of existing podcasts!

Our podcast has a much more relaxed style, as if you were playing with your buddies across a room, to capture that realistic take of what a game would look like.

PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): Our playstyle centers around the idea the conflict doesn’t necessarily equal combat. We’ve had plenty of conflict in a fishing contest, battles of will over adult church activity groups, a nonviolent battle between a podcaster and his ASMR Xatuber ex-wife over Xatube views.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): I try to go for something that sounds professional without being too serious. I like to maintain a good “density” of information, but also have some fun with the subject matter.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): I feel our style is a…it’s kind of like a combination of the anime, the video games, and the manga, all with our own personal twists thrown in to it. I think our style is a little more uh, raw. Loose. Untrained. A little more Reckless.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): As we’ve become more comfortable with each other and with the game, the style has gotten a lot freer. We’re just there to have fun, both with each other and with the listener. It feels like we’re actually having a dialogue as we play, even with the people who aren’t immediately talking back.

It’s cooperative storytelling in the best sense. We get feedback on social media from listeners, and are just pumped to hear that people are pumped to hear the story.

6: Why do you choose to release your podcast on the day that it is released on?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): We release episodes on Tuesdays partly due to editing convenience. After working on the episode throughout the week, we want to make sure all of us listen to the episode and make any necessary changes before posting. It also helps that our DM (Dungeon Master) rolled a D8 dice and it resulted in Tuesdays!
PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): I asked experienced podcasters what day is best to release on and they said Monday and we didn’t question it.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): Getting a new episode out generally happens whenever I have enough content, which varies depending on what events I’ve gone to and interviews I’ve recorded. Ideally, I would have about two episodes a month, but generally I’ve averaged about one a month.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): We release on Wednesdays because it’s the middle of the week, for most folks. Around that time, it doesn’t hurt to have a little positive and helpful nudge to help get through the rest of the week, and I want us to be at least a part of that little push that lets people keep going.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): I think somewhere along the line I heard that Monday was “new podcast day,” and it’s true, in many podcatchers, you see new episodes popping up all over on Mondays. So we’re jumping on the bandwagon.

7: What kind of image do you shoot for your podcast? Branding?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): Our podcast is a kid-friendly podcast that aims to tell a story about two kids going on an adventure. As such, we are for all ages and for anyone interested in Pokemon, table top role playing games, or just fun adventures between three buddies!
PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): Our image and brand is casual and comedic.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): Well, the associated YouTube channel uses the tagline “Midwest Nice Pokemon”. Towards the middle of the 2010’s, I was getting tired of online discussions being dominated by the loudest, most extreme voices, so I wanted to show that I was trying to represent distinct points of view that could still see where each other was coming from.

As far as the name, that’s a carryover from the YouTube channel I started in 2007. “Press” kind of has a double-meaning, though, as it can refer to reporting, but also certain forms of music are pressed as well.

Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): The image we’re going for is a sense of familiarity, with some surprising twists thrown in so it’s not just the same story we’ve heard over and over again.
Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): The story is the main thing. Ben Lundsten’s art for our logo tries to get that across. The journey of the characters, bringing us as players and the listeners along, is something we want everyone to be able to relate to.

8: What is your proudest moment of your podcast?

NOt a ScratchAnirudh (Not a Scratch): As we are a relatively new podcast, our best moments are hopefully ahead of us! The proudest moment of the podcast might just be releasing our first arc.

The mini-arc, labeled Arc 0, gives the audience an understanding of what the world is like. Releasing those first episodes and seeing so many people listening just made us excited for the future!

PokeMomsElyse and Matt (PokeMoms): Honestly, episode 1 where we’re playing all new characters that meshed well from the start. It clicked for us and it’s a reminder how fortunate we are to have such funny and talented friends.
PokePressSteven (PokePress Digest): I really enjoyed that I got to do a live episode in front of an audience in Utah with Anne. We’d definitely present things differently if we did it again, but it was a great experience. Other than that, any time I give or gain a new insight, that’s something I’m really proud of.
Reckless RollersScott (Reckless Rollers): Honestly, starting it.

I was so nervous about hypotheticals and other “what ifs” at the beginning, and I’ll admit, it kinda shows in the first episodes, but that feeling of knowing that we’re putting a story that we’re enjoying and building together out into the world wound up taking away a good amount of that anxiety and replacing it with a sense of pride. Of knowing that there’s people out there that’ll hear us having fun, and have fun listening to it.

Pokemon RolloutMicheal (Pokemon Rollout): Anytime we make each other laugh is great, and those successes are measured in how many minutes the laughter goes on. But maybe our proudest moments are those in which we hear about listeners really caring about fictional characters that we have created.

Whenever one of our Pokemon has scored a victory or had an emotional experience and the listeners cheer for them on social media, we feel like we’ve done something meaningful.

Special thanks to Anirudh, Elyse & Matt, Steven, Scott and Micheal from their respective podcasts for taking the time to answer these questions. We hope you love these podcasts! Also, all the other podcasters who took the time to answer these questions for the Podcasters Roundtable! Make sure to give them all a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcatcher!

Ongoing Conversation