BYOT: The GamesBeat Podcast





March 2012
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Normal people associate the holidays with tacky decorations, dinners with annoying family, and an endless barrage of irritating toy commercials. Gamers, however, know that those last few months of the year really bring in a bounty of major game releases. That's why this week's edition of our Bring Your Own Topic podcast focuses on the holiday season of gaming, including a new system that you may have heard of.

This episode, GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu sits down with our own Sebastian Haley, Rus McLaughlin, and 1up's Jose Otero to talk about the biggest releases of the holiday season, including the Wii U, Assassin's Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Halo 4. Also, despite our best intentions, we do delve into a few minor spoilers. That was the warning. We just spoiler-warned you. No complaining now!

This episode's topics:

  • Our favorite holiday games so far
  • Why or why not we're getting a Wii U
  • What makes a triple-A game
  • Disappointing game endings
Direct download: BYOT_Episode_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09pm EDT

If you're like us, you're currently recovering from Election Fever, the most civic-minded of all imaginary diseases. And if you're not tired of weighing various options against one another, we have you covered here in a retro-gaming-packed episode of our Bring Your Own Topic podcast.

This time around, host GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu sits down with Chris Kohler (editor of Wired's Game|Life), mobile developer Red Robot Labs' (Life is Crime) John Davison, and Kingdoms of Camelot developer Kabam's Andy Alamano. They show their age repeatedly while they choose their candidates for the best and worst in games made in those halcyon days before that Street Fighter movie came out.

This episode's topics:

  • Best graphics (at the time)
  • Hardest retro title
  • Most impressive musical moment
  • Which later-released retro game should we have gotten when it first came out?
  • Most rewarding
  • Most disappointing ending
Direct download: BYOT_Episode_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Did you know that people use the Internet for more than just posting pictures of cute cats? It's true! Some people even put up videos of cute cats. Like this one, which we're pretty sure will be the actual test we use to root out replicants when Blade Runner's dark vision of the future becomes reality.

If you're not a cat person, however, other people are posting original video content about games, and we have three of them in the latest episode of the Bring Your Own Topic podcast. Our host, GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu, sits down with Tara Long (The Destructoid ShowRevision 3), Carlos Rodela (PCWorldMacWorldTechHive), and IGN's Greg Miller to talk about the day-to-day triumphs and tragedies of Internet-based moving-picture creation.

(Note: The Kickstarter for Carlos' "Everybody Game" web series isn't up yet, but he'll post updates on his website.)

Special thanks to Playhaven, our official sponsor!

This episode's topics:

  • Angry commenters and trolls
  • A woman's survival guide to making videos about games
  • The wall between Internet videos and TV
Direct download: BYOT_Episode_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

If we can tear you away from Angry Birds or whatever you're doing With Friends right now, we have something that might interest you. It's the latest episode of Bring Your Own Topic.

This time, we're talking about mobile gaming: its hopes, its dreams, its turn-ons, and how some of the biggest companies in the world are looking to get in on the rapidly growing action. Our host, GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu, sits down with mobile platform (and BYOT sponsor) Playhaven chief Andy Yang, free-to-play developer Machine Zone (Original Gangstaz) head Gabe Leydon, and GamesBeat head writer Dean Takahashi -- and they use a lot of words like "retention," "monetization," and "Norm" (from Cheers).

Listen closely because these guests are some of the smartest in the biz when it comes to mobile gaming. You'll learn a lot from this show, trust us.

This episode's topics:

  • The future of mobile games
  • The history and current state of the free-to-play business model
  • Amazon vs. Apple vs. Google
Direct download: BYOT_Episode_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT

Did you know that if developer Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games were a person, it could legally rent a car now? That frightens us, actually -- we've seen what they do to cars in those bonus levels.

To celebrate the Silver Anniversary, Capcom released a massive, fun-filled collector's editionArea 5 produced the feature-length documentary included in that set, and this episode, we sit down with three of the guys who made the retrospective. The video-production house's Cesar Quintero, Ryan O'Donnell, and  Jason Bertrand join GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu to try to fit a quarter-century of Hadoukens into an hour. They almost make it.

This episode's topics:

  • Japanese vs. U.S. arcade culture
  • Area 5's favorite interviews from its Street Fighter documentary
  • Interesting stories that didn't quite make it into Area 5's movie

Special thanks to Playhaven, our official sponsor!

Direct download: BYOT_Episode_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28pm EDT

It's only the third episode, but we're already showing our age in this installment of the Bring Your Own Topic podcast. This time around, we have's Chris Kohler, Gaijin Games (Bit.Trip series) co-founder Alex Neuse, and Kabam's (Kingdoms of Camelot) Andy Alamano. The three of them join GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu to go back in time 30 years to when music looped and pixels were all the rage.

This episode's topics:

  • 8-bit games that were truly scary
  • The rise and fall of "stage music"
  • Playing Nintendo Entertainment System games that didn't make it to the U.S.

Special thanks to Playhaven, our official sponsor!

Direct download: BYOT_Episode_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm EDT

Because you can't listen to just one, BYOT is back with its second episode. This week, our guests have one thing in common: They are all funny. Funny and profane. The two things they have in common are that they are funny and profane...and they make a lot of jokes about penises. Hang on...the three things they have in common are that they are funny, profane, and make jokes about penises...and they work in the video game industry. The the things they have in common...amongst their commonalities are being funny, profane...I'll try again.

The guests this time around are's eponymous Seanbaby,'s Jeff Reitman, and Betable's Sheila Bryson. WARNING: They make a lot of crude jokes, which is something that happens when you get three comedians in a room together. It's actually the top-secret Fifth Law of Thermodynamics.

Special thanks to Playhaven, our official sponsor!

This episode's topics:

  • Does Kickstarter suck?
  • If you had a time machine, which game genre would you eliminate from history?
  • What would a social Facebook game based on your life be like?

Direct download: BYOT_Episode_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15am EDT

Here it is: the first episode of GamesBeat’s official podcast, BYOT. That stands for “Bring Your Own Topic,” but you don’t have to put those trampolines or tapirs away just yet. Who doesn’t love a bouncing tapir?

Our first show features an all-star cast from your lovely GamesBeat staff: editor-in-chief Dan “Shoe” Hsu, head writer Dean Takahashi, copy editor Jason Wilson, and culture editor Sebastian Haley. Each of them has brought his own 2012-centric topic to discuss with the group, and they break it up with a smattering of evil trivia.


  • Games of 2012 we should champion
  • The single worst things to happen to gaming this year
  • The rise of online gambling
  • Are we done with blockbuster games?

CONTEST ALERT: We’re giving away grab bags of goodies to two lucky fans who help us promote this episode by linking to it on Twitter and including the #GamesBeatBYOT hashtag. The contest ends in two weeks.

Special thanks to Playhaven, our official launch sponsor.

Direct download: BYOT__Episode_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT