Two of my favourite single episodes of a podcast are 8-4's SNES Retrospective and Gregg Tavares special. These are 3+ hour looks at the gaming industry, about a console and developer respectively. They explore the SNES's library and in the Tavares special, they touch on tricks that developers used in the pre-NES all the way to the 32-bit era to makes games work. They're both fascinating and I think they'd be a great fit as a template for a podcast by Polygon.
The Polygon Features Podcast could be released to coincide with a written feature, with it being an interview or series of interviews with the subject(s) of the feature, like Ken Levine or core members of Bungie, to use a few recent examples. However, I think more interestingly, it could be a monthly or biweekly show (I think if it were done weekly, the podcast wouldn't be able to get enough interesting guests). It could focus on smaller devs, maybe not big enough to warrant the time or money required to produce a written feature, but still interesting enough to spend a few hours to record and edit a podcast; this could be done in the style of Destructoid's 'Sup Holmes? podcast.
Finally, the podcast wouldn't have to center on devs, I would also love a group of Polygon editors talking about their memories of a particular series, genre or console. Or, much like Polygon's features themselves, a Features Podcast could be a mish-mash of all these things, with the only connecting thread being the host(s).
A wish list if this were to be done:
- A long run time - Part of what makes 8-4's specials so fantastic is the fact that most of them are 3+ hours in length. This gives them the liberty to go off-topic or explore a particular thing more than they originally thought they would. If their SNES retrospective had run for an hour, it would have lost a lot of its magic.
- Humour - Polygon's written features are mostly very serious, and often tell a sad story. This would not make for good radio. Leave the written features for the more serious or important topics, and use a podcast to tell more lighthearted stories, and joke around with the subject of the interview. A sterile back and forth interview would be painful to listen to.
- Guest editors - Having one or two hosts is probably ideal, but change up the cast to accommodate the subject matter. Bring in the resident expert on the topic to really pursue the subject. Bringing in someone who knows nothing about the topic might be fun as well.
Obviously, not all my ideas are perfect, so feel free to add any suggestions for a Features Podcast below!