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History of Westeros • View topic - Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Suggest future episode topics.

Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby Azizal » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:57 pm

I've been meaning to do this for a while, create a space for people to make suggestions on improving the podcast. We get suggestions through email, twitter and facebook quite often, but the nature of those places is that few other people see the discussions/suggestions.

If you're keeping up with us on Patreon http://www.patreon.com/historyofwesteros then you are aware that we've reached our first milestone: "at least one episode each month" (thank you supporters!). We've now added a second milestone: putting significant effort towards production improvements, something that was a major Achilles' heel for us early on. Our production quality is solid now, but I wouldn't call it a strength or a major draw.

- We are going to add a new microphone and a new camera.
- We're going to get new software.
- We're going to take courses on software and on speaking and presenting.
- We're going to have a better intro.
- We're eventually going to incorporate art and sounds and other cool stuff like that.
- We'd also like to re-record (as well as update) some of the oldest episodes, which are some of the worst recordings.
- Based on some recent good criticism, we're going to space out advertisements and shout-outs a little differently, so that they are not all at the beginning. Better to have them peppered throughout.

This doesn't just apply to the show, but to the website, our Facebook/Twitter page, Patreon, etc.

So fire away with suggestions of *any* kind. If you have a way for the show to improve, tell us. If you have suggestions for Patreon levels, benefits or milestones, we'd love to hear it. If you have a suggestion for us on how to better monetize (we're going to design shirts at some point for example), let us know. If you have guests you want us to have on, let us know.
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby Azizal » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:03 pm

Another common piece of feedback we receive is that some listeners like, or even prefer, to hear more "natural" discussions. i.e less scripting. We've wrestled with this concept a lot because too much open discussion is inefficient and we're not able to cover certain things in proper detail without a script. That said, some topics are better as discussions than as scripts, and sometimes discussions on-air inspire new thoughts, and that can be special and/or enlightening.

I'll use the Blackfyre series as an example:

Aegon IV is not a great "discussion" topic. There's little to debate. There's a lot to cover but little of it is mysterious or up for interpretation. A lot of the details are hidden, but not controversial in terms of understanding. No one is going to defend the guy, or argue that he was a good king.

His son Daeron II is another matter. His policies towards the Great Bastards and Dorne are very discussion-wrthy. So we're bringing in Steven Attewell, possibly the best ASOIAF mind with regards to politics and relating real world (ancient and modern) government to Martin-world. Unlike his father, there is significant debate on whether some of his policies were smart, or fuel for the Black-fyre.

So right now the plan is to let the topic decide how we proceed. If it's a heated topic with lots of opinions (like say, "the Pink Letter", or is "Aerys Tyrion's father". Then we debate and discuss.

So for example we're going to discuss the Redgrass Field, and work from an outline without a lot of scripting. But we're going to meticulously analyze/script Bittersteel.

All that said, some topics are both. I want to analyze the Dance of the Dragons as a historical event, but I want to discuss "The Princess and the Queen" as a story. In some cases, we will combine discussions and analysis into one episode. Or at least, we'll try that and see how it goes!
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby GeekFurious » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:15 pm

I like the idea of doing episodes where you debate topics from a previous, more prepared episode.

I'd also love to see you cover this season of GOT and how its changes may, or may not, influence the future books, based on how GRRM writes and information we already know. I think you could have a ton of material there, just debating, with evidence, what is total D&D rewriting vs. what may be coming down the line in Martin's books.
Sometimes you write a story that goes where, as a member of the audience, you wouldn't want it to go. Because anything else would be dishonest.
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby BryndenBFish » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:24 pm

Man-Jeff reporting in (You didn't know I had an account, didya?) I think the hard thing about having 2 hour long podcasts is the massive amount of writing that goes into it. I don't fault the scripts at all. (Lord knows that I would have dissolved into a puddle of tears if I was going to speak extemporaneously for 6 hours on the Battle of Ice!)

I really only have small suggestions: use a script for the most part, but maybe open up with discussion points. I knew we tried to do that, and we had some success speaking off the cuff on it. Even on Aegon IV, you have some discussion points. Example:

- Was Aegon enabled by court sycophants and what recourse did disgusted nobles and family-members have outside of poison?

But yeah, that's small potatoes. New mic & camera will be nice, and I'd love to hear some of the old recordings redone! Cheers, guys!
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby Azizal » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:32 pm

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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby GeekFurious » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:31 pm

Sometimes you write a story that goes where, as a member of the audience, you wouldn't want it to go. Because anything else would be dishonest.
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby sweetyft » Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:08 pm

Hey guys!

At the end of your latest video Ashaya said you we thinking about doing video editing IIRC. I am by no mean a pro but I do some editing on my videos and I have already edited parts of a 3 hour long group discussion so it can be done. It's really the video processing once you're done that takes the longest but you don't need to be there while your PC is doing that. Since your videos are mostly scripted I assumed you'd just want to be able to cut parts out once in a while and be able to insert script of pictures to illustrate what you're saying but, as I've said it's the amount of changes that takes time when you edit not really the overall length of the video. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, just to say I'm here to help if you need anything. For the moment I only work on iMovie so I cannot be of much help with better softwares but I plan on upgrading as soon as I can buy a next computer.

On another note, I really loved the fact that you started doing collabs recently and I hope you'll continue doing some even outside of the show season.
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby Azizal » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:28 am

Thanks, we appreciate it!

We are figuring out what we want to do, which episodes to do it in, etc. Once we get a little farther on that we'll start reaching out for assistance.
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Re: Official Quality Improvements/Patreon Thread

Postby arithmaester » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:05 am

I just registered to share this feedback. HUGE fan of your pod! But one thing that gets very distracting over the course of two hour episodes: ambient giggling. I don't know if you can edit it out, and I'm trying to be a nice as possible because you guys have made my rereading the series so much more enjoyable. But please work on not nervously giggling while someone is speaking. It's the sort of thing that once you hear you can't unhear. <3
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