There is something satisfying about sitting down and listening to someone talk about something you love.
Video games are no different, and there is no shortage of podcasts out there where people talk about video games, game design, game development, and anything else related to games.
Something for All Ages and Skill-levels
Some focus on what it’s like to be an indie developer, others focus on what they like and dislike about games from a design perspective, others interview industry professionals for their say on what makes a good game.
There are plenty out there to choose from, but if you’re new to the podcast game, here’s a run-down of some of the best podcasts to listen to if you’re an aspiring game designer.
Note: some have not updated in a while, but are listed because they are still an excellent resource for aspiring game designers and developers.
Broadcast in seasons, with season two just starting as of the time of writing, GameDev Radio aims to inform and educate about the world of game design.
The two guys involved are pleasant to listen to and definitely know their stuff when it comes to game design.
The seasons are short, so if you like something to listen to often then perhaps this isn’t for you, but you should not pass on the information presented.
Link to podcast: http://www.gamedevradio.com/
Featuring strong language and definitely not for the faint of heart, the Podquisition by Jim Sterling is an excellent source of people talking about games and what makes games tick, and more specifically what makes them tick about games.
Always helpful to see things from the perspective of a gamer with a fair insight into how games should be developed, this podcast is one for those who want an upfront review of how games work.
Link to podcast: https://soundcloud.com/jimquisition
With a focus more on interviews than on information, Another Castle is a good choice if you would prefer to hear from people who have had their break in the game industry and want to hear what stories they have and what advice they can give.
A different guest each episode provides variety, and each one is interesting and gives you something to think about!
Link to podcast: http://www.another-castle.org/
Infinite Ammo interviews indie game designers and developers, getting their insight into the industry and finding out what makes them tick.
They focus on things like Kickstarter, the indie industry, how to get your break, and many other things in between!
Their guests always have something interesting to say, and a new guest every episode makes sure you’ll never get bored!
Currently, there are 25 episodes at the time of writing, so there’s plenty to listen to.
Link to podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/2oXzwYeFuhsZsHMDyfrHLe
Advertising themselves as the “collective insight of the gaming industry”, Industry Broadcast is all about the game industry and the facets of design.
Rather than focusing on interviews and information, they instead focus on spoken-word versions of their articles, meaning that if you want to access that information but don’t like reading, you’re in luck!
They make for excellent commuter listening, and always are insightful and interesting.
Building the Game
Building the Game focuses on the adventures of two first-time game designers, on their quest to make a publishable game.
They also branch out into other avenues, such as reporting on conventions and other industry-related things.
They are fun to listen to, although perhaps not as informative as some of the other podcasts on the list, but a definite must if you’re thinking of going it alone and starting something on your own!
Link to podcast: http://www.buildingthegamepodcast.com/
Billing themselves as an ‘experimental podcast show’, the IndieGamePod is your one-stop-shop for all things indie and up-and-coming.
They interview a lot of different designers and have episodes about the facets of design, as well as many other things.
Definitely worth a look if you’re in any way into starting up something by yourself or with a few close friends, as they’ve got everything an indie designer needs.
Link to podcast: http://www.indiegamepod.com/
An excellent series, unfortunately not updated since June 2014, but still worth a look if you’re interested in video game design and development. They focus more on ‘thoughtful conversation about games’, from violence in trailers to interviews with developers about how they created their locales and characters.
If you want someone with a pleasant voice to talk to you about how to design games in a responsible way, then this is the podcast for you.
Link to podcast: https://www.brainygamer.com/the_brainy_gamer/podcast/
A Life Well Wasted
Another excellent series not recently updated, A Life Well Wasted is a show about the people who love games and what they think of them.
It is always important to view things from both sides, and A Life Well Wasted lets you do just that.
Hearing people talk about games is the first step towards making them, even if those people don’t make games themselves.
There is so much to be learned, and A Life Well Wasted is definitely worth a look if you’re learning!
Link to podcast: http://alifewellwasted.com/podcast/
Brought to you by the same people who bring you Gamasutra and Game Career Guide, the Indiegames.com podcast is a definite must if you’re interested in becoming an indie game designer.
They talk to indie developers about their games and interview industry professionals for their insight.
Not updated in a while, this is still a good resource for aspiring game developers to listen to if they’re lacking in inspiration.
Link to podcast: https://archive.org/details/IndieGamesPodcast
More helpful podcasts for you to enjoy…
Coffee with Butterscotch: A Game Dev Comedy Podcast
Company: Butterscotch Shenanigans
Coffee with Butterscotch–along with having an original name–is one of many video game podcasts with some amusing moments between the hosts.
Hosted by games programmer Seth Coster, web programmer Adam Coster, and artist Sam Coster, the podcast has on many guests and, most importantly, possesses a fun-filled environment to talk about all things game design.
They are currently well over 245 episodes, meaning you have tons of backlog content to comb through. Listening to this podcast is like connecting with old friends, except through the lens of one of the best gaming podcasts.
The Debug Log
Company: The Debug Lab
The Debug Log is a video game podcast hosted by Obinna Oparah, Andrew Currie, and Ryan Killgore. The team mixes dry humor, wit, and, most importantly, game development topics. Listening to The Debug Log will immerse you in some interesting issues like VR game development, developing games for the cloud, game networking, and industry trends. They record quality episodes called ‘Rapidfire Roundups’ in which they condense some of the biggest stories in the industry and gaming into a digestible, easily listenable package.
Company: Nerd L.A.B.
Self-proclaimed Magic the Gathering addict since 1994, our host Marvin takes us through game design with a refreshing, more entrepreneurial angle. Although currently working in I.T. and hating it, Marvin is a fantastic host who examines more in-depth topics about the implications of industry movers and shakers.
He helps advise developers on the best ways to not freeze up during the game design process and to break down what other developers have and haven’t done well. The audience of the podcast and online community are creatively called ‘entreprenerds.’
Dedicated primarily to interviewing indie game developers, BigSushi.fm intends to set out to be talk show-esque, “a cross between Late Night and Inside The Actor Studio.” They have a ton of episodes going over the ins and outs of game design with industry insiders with a touch of explicit irreverent humor and endearing hosts.
If you’re looking for a super casual podcast to laugh at and be educated by, BigSushi.fm is your best bet for one of the best gaming podcasts.
Humans Who Make Games with Adam Conover
Company: Starburns Audio
Adam Conover, famous for his hosting duties on the unique Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV, takes the reins on these podcast episodes that aim to interview some of the industry’s most famous game designers.
Although there are not many episodes as of late, (and no interviews with the likes of Todd Howard or Tim Schafer), Adam has interviewed the developers Richard Vreeland of FEZ, Justin Ma of FTL, Derek Yu of Spelunky, and Edmund McMillan of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac.
Adam takes his charm and wit and combines lighthearted comedy into informative interviews that will keep gamers, and game developers hooked.
The Game Design Round Table
Company: Dirk Knemeyer & David V. Heron
The Game Design Round Table aims to do what many video game podcasts try to do; interview game developers and get their takes on the industry.
The Game Design Round Table goes an extra step further by delving into major themes, symbolism, and decisions in some of our favorite games. They have interviews and discussions with the designer for indie hit Darkest Dungeon. They explore the minute details of the insanely difficult game, including inspiration, behind the scenes stories, and more.
For those game developers who want a serious strike of inspiration, this is one of the best video gaming podcasts to check out.
All My Ideas Are Bad
Along with having a fantastically unique name, the new ‘All My Ideas Are Bad’ podcast focuses primarily on RPG and story-driven game design. Sythana Winterthorn & Orion Canning interview a game developer after playing the chosen game for hours and distills the essence of the conversation down to 30 minutes.
This unique approach gets the developer to open up about their games, as well as giving the hosts a better idea of the developer’s more substantial designs. This is one of the best gaming podcasts for those with a penchant for story games and narrative techniques.
Level Design Lobby
Company: Level Design Lobby, Alex M. Partridge & Max Pears
Level Design Lobby intends to put a microscope to some of gaming’s most iconic design choices.
The hosts, Alex and Max, go over different game designs and examines them in-depth to see what works and what doesn’t. This critical analysis is a must for any budding game designer.
A great episode is where the host talks with one of the developers of Assassin’s Creed and discusses both of their favorite level design choices.
Podcasts are an excellent way to spend your time and are a quick and easy way of accessing and assimilating information.
If you are an aspiring designer or an up-and-coming one, you can always learn from all kinds of sources about your craft (and even well-established designers have things to learn!).
Podcasts are a great way to learn, and hopefully, this list of the ten best podcasts will help you to narrow your search when looking for something new to listen to.
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