It's hard to believe I've been doing this for a month. Originally, I had intended on releasing something in mid to late May, but with the whole COVID thing I was suddenly home - all the time - and there was no reason not to put work into the show every day. So I did and I quickly realized that I could move up my release by a whole month. I did some research, chose a host (Podbean), virtually attended some webinars and, BAM, I was out there in the wild.
To date I've had 321 downloads. That's not a lot by any stretch - popular actual play D&D shows get 1000 downloads a week and in some cases, more. Maybe much more. But I have to say I'm not disappointed. My 321 downloads is about 311 total strangers digging what I do - or at least giving it a try. (The other 11 DLs are me doing tests.) So... how cool is that? It's quite a rush when someone goes out of their way to say they like what you do.
I've learned a lot over the past month. Many of the lessons were about climbing the tech learning curve. My audio got a lot better, that's for sure. I've also learned a few tricks with the 'workflow' as it relates to making an episode (writing/playing & recording & adding sound/music).
Going forward, I want to come back to 7 'Rules' I've settled on to keep me pointed in the right direction, always.
1) Always let the dice rule. If I fudge once, I'll fudge twice. The whole integrity of the show hinges upon following the dice. This rule is a never-break.
2) Keep it simple. The fewer rules, the better. Keep charts small. I don't think B/X D&D is necessarily better than 5e, but I do think it's right for this medium.
3) Keep it classic. I want my podcast to feel like the games I played as a child - to have that sense of wonder. (Obviously, there's quite a bit of adult grit added to this, but the wonder should be there underneath).
4)Maintain willing suspension of disbelief: you imply a promise to the reader not to burst the bubble. TOTM will never contain anything like the farce D&D which rules the airwaves right now. That stuff is fine - I like some of it - but I don't make it.
5) Always remember the 3 pillars: Exploration, Combat and Interpersonal. This last one just comes down to character development and interaction. I try to balance the 3 pillars equally. Sometimes I get it right.
6) Keep upping the ante: out of the frying pan, into the fire. The characters should be under near constant pressure. Respite should be rare and short.
7) Don't be afraid to zoom in the camera. Some of the bits I've made that I am most proud of are actually the more vulnerable moments. We haven't had many yet in the published episode, but wait till you see what's coming...