Hyperspace Beacon: Podcast race

For a game that has yet to release, the number of people who closely follow Star Wars: The Old Republic astounds me still. If you follow the Twitter feed, you will practically see a new fan site pop up daily. Granted, a good chunk of these sites fizzle away as quickly they are built -- it's kind of the nature of the beast. Running a fansite takes a lot of work, and most people who set out to make a fan site are not ready to make that kind of commitment. Having run fan sites in the past, I can tell you that even when you think you're ready, you're not ready.

Although it's not unique for a game to have a podcast revolving around it, Star Wars: The Old Republic is gifted with a very large audience, and with that an exorbitant number of fans willing to devote time to making a podcast. We have already mentioned the podcasts of Darth Hater, TOROcast, and Mos Eisley Radio in the past, but since then there has been slue of new podcast that are giving these other guys a run for their money.

After the break, I will introduce you to some of the newer shows that I enjoy or maybe one of those those who I believe has really stepped up the game since the last time I've talked about them. Start up the holoprojector and follow me!

TORWars is really a SWTOR news website with incredible news enthusiasts. The site sports a wide variety of Star Wars and TOR related articles. Next to Darth Hater, TORWars appears to have the largest number of weekly articles revolving our our favorite genre. However, this site is slightly different from that other infamous website as far as content is concerned. These gentlemen and ladies tend to focus on the positives and light-hearted angles of TOR news reporting. I would guess that this stems from the nature of the site's two leaders, Jeff Hollis and David Moore, who we really want to talk about today.

Jeff and David host the TORWars podcast very similar to the way they run the site. It's very light-hearted yet informative. Out of the podcasts mentioned here today, these gentlemen probably have the most experience reporting on the gaming industry in general. The pair really seem to know their stuff. Jeff and David both have great personalities and they feed off each other. The podcast is far from scripted, but the way the pair finish each other's sentences or respond to each other's questions means they are really tight or have an excellent editor.

Catch Jeff and David on the TORWars website weekly.

The Star Wars: The Old Republic guild Beskar focuses its energy on providing a gaming environment for all types of gameplay. I actually had a chance to speak to Blur and Blueneko of Beskar on the roleplay mini-cast Beyond the Grind last week. This gentleman and lady are bottled fun. Although the guild does have a roleplay focus, which appears to be encapsulated in Blueneko, they both have an extremely well-rounded view of MMORPGs in general. It is no wonder they decided to create a podcast.

Although the pair abide in the same Mandalorian guild, the podcast Two TOR gamers is not about Mandalorian roleplay. The podcast talks about everything relating to The Old Republic, but with all the other podcasts out there why should you listen to this one? I will admit up front that Two TOR Gamers is not a podcast for everyone, and Blur and Blueneko really aren't trying to appeal to everyone. One of my co-workers at Gamebreaker absolutely does not like the podcast, but for my it's infectious. I can't help but listen to them every week. Maybe it's because of my theatre background and I can relate to Blueneko's perspective, or maybe I just enjoy listening to Blur's Australian accent. Either way, I will tune in every week to them on iTunes. I have trouble catching them live on Saturdays at 4 to 5 p.m. EDT.

Sunny Ravencourt and Radicool of the guild Nova Corps host a sit-down discussion about the latest news from The Old Republic. They refer to their show, Sunny's Diner, as the podcast for the rest of us. As I mentioned before, this gaming community is saturated with podcasts and websites vying to make one site stand out more than another. You can't be first any more -- TOROcast has that achievement already. So a young podcast is going to have to find some other way to grab your attention. Well, when Sunny's Diner talks about "the rest of us," it is talking about the casual gamer.

The uniqueness of Sunny's Diner doesn't end with their target audience. The format follows a dinner conversation. Sunny and Rad's conversation revolves around the courses of a meal at the diner. Not only do they have a different discussion topic for an appitiser, main course, dessert, and doggie bag, they also add ambient sounds so it sounds like they are actually broadcasting from a diner in the Star Wars universe. Yes, that means the diner is filled with alien sounds, including Wookiees.

I also want to throw out a mention to Bootleg Radio. Although all its programming isn't TOR-specific, a good chunk of it is. Bootleg hosts two of the shows I mentioned above and also a live show (The Galactic Underground by Brehon, who has one of the best radio voices I've heard). The Galactic Underground is definitely not for everyone -- Brehon will tell you that himself -- but if you explore Bootleg's line-up, you are sure to find something to your liking. Brehon explains that Bootleg Radio is really about getting this great TOR community together by offering a wide variety of different shows for you to listen to either while you're gaming or when you're thinking about gaming.

I am not a big self-promoter, but I know some of the readers of this column are interested in where they can find more of my work. As most of you know, I am one of the hosts of The Republic on Gamerbreaker.TV. We are a live video podcast that now airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT. Then a project that is dear to me is Beyond the Grind, which airs as a part of TOR Syndicate podcast. Baraslan of the Mantel Syndicate and I take 15 to 20 minutes each week to talk about roleplay in The Old Republic.

That's it for me this week -- I will keep listening for the next great TOR podcast. Maybe the next one will be yours! Until then -- to barrow a phrase from Baraslan -- may your stories be your own brand of epic.

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to larry@massively.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
This article was originally published on Massively.