Retro video games are cool again, and not just for hipsters. Ask Tristan Jung, host of The Retrospective Collective podcast. A podcast all about retro video games.
What’s interesting, however, is The Retrospective Collective isn’t just a podcast. Tristan and co-host Albert have grown their community to engage through several channels including a monthly Medium essay contest.
I got a chance to meet Tristan and talk about how the podcast got started, what video games are ripe for a comeback, and how they’re taking their podcast community off air. Check out our full Q&A below.
Discover Pods: How would you describe your podcast in 140-characters or less?
Tristan: An easy-going videogame podcast that tries to bring the past and present together with news and retros on retro.
DP: How did your podcast get started?
Tristan: Albert and I have been long-time friends and we’ve always been passionate about games and the industry as a whole. I felt the gaming world has been moving way too quickly; causing two issues. Busy people missing important gaming news, and for the younger folks, not really realizing the greats from the past. We thought we could combine our knowledge (and humor) to provide an informative and light-hearted podcast.
DP: Why did you choose a podcast over other mediums?
Tristan: I’ve done video production in the past, and it’s a bit more heavy-handed in terms of editing and planning. We wanted to keep the show a bit more approachable without it feeling scripted, along with the fact that podcasts are a much smaller commitment for listeners (they don’t have to watch a video for an hour, it can be running in the background while the do other things). Finally, it’s a brand new area for the both of us and we thought it would serve as a fun learning experience!
DP: What kind of equipment are you currently using to record?
Tristan: I use a Blue Yeti Pro to record, while Albert is still using a gaming headset (hopefully that changes soon haha). We mix and edit our audio in Audacity.
DP: What’s unique about your podcast?
Tristan: Although there are a couple of other podcasts that handle retro games as well, we try to mix it up by trying to tie together the past and present for listeners that may not have played the games we talk about. We’re not really a news podcast, but we’re also not a serious retro podcast; something fuzzy in the middle. It may bite us in the future, and we may need to change things up, but we’re having fun with it for now haha.
DP: Are there specific retro games that with a little 21st-century polish could be released successfully today?
Tristan: In terms of ease of development, I would definitely say Okami (2006). The PS3 HD release was actually already outputting video in 4K, and they down-sample it to have it render on 1080p screens. It would be super easy for them to release it on PS4 and bring an amazing game to a new generation of gamers.
In terms of blowing people’s minds, Final Fantasy VI (1994) comes to mind. That game had so many new mechanics rarely seen in video games: no main protagonist, insane storyline twists, non-linear gameplay, etc. If they could retain the same system and just revamp the graphics to full 3D, I would bet that it would do extremely well.
DP: Why do your listeners keep coming back?
Tristan: Hopefully, it’s the variety of games we cover; we tend to jump between decades and from genre to genre every episode to keep things fresh. On top of that, we try to dig up a lot of hidden trivia and tidbits to keep things interesting for listeners who already have played the games.
DP: How has the listener feedback been so far? Any game requests?
Tristan: The overall feedback has been great so far! Listeners have been excited to learn more about games, and catch up on news at the same time. We’ve had some game requests trickle in; we actually have a spreadsheet of ~100 games we want to talk about so we’ll have to figure out how to prioritize episodes accordingly 🙂
DP: What’s next? Where do you want to take your podcast?
Tristan: We want to bring in more fan interaction if possible, along with a lot more supplementary material such as streams, developer interviews, and more. We already have a monthly essay series (https://medium.com/@3stan/trcs1i1-b1b40d9de3c3) that’s running to provide a separate medium for folks that don’t prefer listening to podcasts.
DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?
Tristan: Oh boy, not in any particular order:
- Cool Games Inc.
- Reply All
- The Nerdist
- My Brother, My Brother and Me
DP: Where can listeners find you?