Community Spotlight: High Drag Podcast
There are many wonderful EVE podcasts in existence. One of the up and coming podcasts is the High Drag Cast. Having produced just over 20 episodes, they are quickly establishing themselves as one of the more entertaining and enjoyable podcasts in EVE.
Kyle Yanowski has long been listening to EVE Podcasts. Being married with children, he found there were many times when he had chores or child-rearing tasks. He doesn't recall exactly who introduced him to EVE podcasts, but he quickly realized he could help relieve the boredom of tedious tasks. Mowing two acres of lawn with a push mower wasn't nearly as bad if he had four hours of Lost in EVE to listen to.
He naturally listened to a number of different podcasts, such as Bringing Solo Back, Lost in EVE, Fly Reckless, Voices from the Void, and Broadcasts from the Ninveah. When the former-kil2 became the much-beloved CCP Rise, Kyle decided he wanted to fill the void and create a podcast of his own.
He recorded the first one with his loving, indulgent wife and a gaming friend who did not play EVE. With his wife jokingly referring to EVE as “the other woman”, the first podcast covered dealing with avoiding the everpresent problem of “spouse aggro” and the much-beloved passtime of drinking. It wound up being quite a chaotic mess. Luckily, Connal Tara of the Fly Reckless podcast gave Kyle some editing tips which helped save it.
Even with these self-critical remarks from Kyle, the first episode was well-received by his fellow members of Red vs Blue. Random McNally, a fellow RvB member, took mock offense to a comment Kyle made and subsequently declared Kyle would forever be stuck with him on the podcast. Random is a former broadcaster and had wanted to get involved in a podcast in some way. Offering his services to Kyle was a natural move.
Zao Amadues similarly declared the show needed a beard (and, less importantly, a solo PVP expert) and joined up to provide his own segment. As the show continued to mature, they also brought in Zealot Comadrin, a real-life rookie, to talk about his experiences. They also eventually pulled in Ashterothi, a director of Aideron Robotics, programmer, and writer for TheMittani.com, to round out the High Drag panel.
Since the podcast has started, the response has been incredibly strong. The panel gets shout outs in local and EVE mails from fans. They work with other podcasters and bloggers to improve each others' work and make everything much better. The show has evolved from a podcast that celebrated the balance of life and EVE to much more. The show has hit a fantastic stride and the entire tea is excited to see where it and EVE take them.
About the Shows
Currently, the High Drag Cast records every two weeks, on Wednesdays at 01:00 GMT. Prior to recording, Kyle sends out a working document to the cast to help develop a theme for the show, as well as a list of topics of interest. The theme is a big part of every show and they try to tieall their discussions back to the theme in some fashion. For instance, Episode 21 was the “angry” episode.
Though Kryle has the final say, the entire group has ownership of the discussion and is able to edit the pre-show document. Because no plan survives first contact, often other ideas are brought up that are unexpected. Some of these are shelved for later dates.
Once everything has been brought to a good state, they meet up in Skype and finalize the outline, discuss things such as introductions and music, and remind Ashterothi to let other people get involved in the conversations.
Their recordings are uniquely broadcast live on twitch.tv, either on Fintarue or Zao Amadues's streams. This enables them to get immediate feedback and suggestions as the show is recorded. They record over Skype, but have been exploring more stable platforms such as Google Voice.
They have experimented with a few different editing programs, such as Sound Forge, Audacity, and Adobe Audition. Random and Kyle take turns editing, but are looking to normalize the process in the future.
In all, they estimate it takes roughly two weeks for one podcast to be “completed”. They must coordinate with guests, build content for the show, and collect enough topics to discuss. Then once the audio has been recorded, they have to begin the task of editing. Random estimates that for a two hour podcast, it takes him anywhere from six to eight hours of editing to get right.
The biggest challenges the show faces have been coordination. In order to make sure everyone can make it to the recording sessions, especially since they are streamed live on twitch, they have had to add a whole host of contingency plans in order to ensure they are streaming on time. In order to manage this, they have to have two streamers.
They also realize real life always comes first, which means sometimes people cannot make it. This is especially challenging when it comes to guest members of the panels. A single new panel member requires coordination of times, vetting questions beforehand, working on transitions, and much more. Going live can be difficult and the guests need to be made to feel at home and fit in.
Sometimes they make the same mistakes over and over. Some are even enough to ruin an episode or make editing especially difficult. In order to minimize them, Kyle created a checklist for all panel members to follow, such as turning off cell phones, no angry typing, don't say anything you'll regret, don't eat your microphone, and remember to let others speak.
Even editing can be difficult, as setting aside six to eight hours on busy weekends can be tough. Most of the panel members have family and family comes first.
About the Team
The High Drag podcast is put together by a dedicated team of six.
Kyle Yanowski is the founder and “boss” of the podcast. In game, he is a former RvB member and currently a director in the Gallente FW corporation Aideron Robotics. He pursues aspirations of being a dirty, filthy space privateer. Out of game, he is currently serving in the United States Army and dotes on his wife and young son.
Random McNally is the work horse of the podcast. Nicknamed the “Curmudgeon”, he is the oldest member of the podcast and has tried nearly every career in EVE. Random is currently a member of Red Federation and has a whole host of alts that provide ships to lose. Out of game he is a father of two teenage boys, has been marrier for over 20 years, and works for an elementary school as the head engineer.
Zao Amadues is the solo PVP guru. He is an evil pirate in a corp called the Rifterlings. He also livestreams and is an expert on fits, tactics, and smack talk. He is also a shoutcaster for the Syndicate Competitive League. Out of game, he is retired from the Navy and is currently a full-time student. He has a wife and children.
Zealot Comadrin is the podcast's “noob centrist.” He is a member of Aideron Robotics. In the real world, he is in the United States Army and splits his EVE time with his girlfriend.
Ashterothi is the resident walking game encyclopedia. He's a director in Aideron, is experienced in many EVE careers, and is a contributing writer for TheMittani.com. Out of game, he is a programmer and has a wonderful wife and newborn baby.
Fintarue acts as a crisic backup. He is a livestreamer and pirate in the Rifterlings. He carries the podcast live when Zao is unavailable.
The High Drag podcast is a great podcast that is only growing! Now that it's been featured with a Community Spotlight, it's already too late to be cool enough to have been listening before anyone else, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't start! The group behind it loves EVE Online, but they love the community even more. As long as people keep listening, they'll keep cranking out new episodes.
Kyle also wants to clarify what “High Drag” means. It's a play on an American soldier idiom for cool, “High Speed, Low Drag”. Since popular fan lore for EVE posits that warp drives create considerable drag on ships (accounting for the “submarine” physics of ships), he shortened the phrase to “High Drag” for the podcast.