Author Topic: RVG Interviews: Dean Swain.  (Read 199 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews: Dean Swain.
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:05:05 AM »

Retro Game Podcasts are ten a penny these days, even we do one from time to time but none come close the grand daddy of them all, Retro Asylum. Dean Swain is one of the founders of the Retro Asylum Podcast, they have gone from strength to strength over the years and here we get a chance to ask Dean some questions about the podcast and much more.
The Interview

Zapiy

Thank you for agreeing to our interview, please take a moment to  tell us a little about you?

Dean

I’m just a guy born in the mid 70’s from London’s East End who happens to like video games, especially titles with a pick up; play nature.

Zapiy

How did Retro Asylum first start out?

Dean

I was occasionally appearing as a host on a podcast called The 1 Hour Monthly Podcast Show which was a creation of Andy Godoy. Andy wanted to wrap the show up and concentrate on classic games (1HMPS focused on all aspects of gaming, movies ect) and suggested that myself and Glen Atkinson (who was another occasional host on 1HHMPS) should see what we could come up with. I think I’m right in saying that I came up with the name and then I designed the logo, which you can see is inspired by the original Your Sinclair magazine logo and the logo from Crash magazine. The idea was to create a show that recaptured the feel of those classic magazines.

Greyfox

Can you believe how popular your podcast has become, why do you think that is?

Dean

I think it took us all by surprise but I was very cheeky with certain aspects of the show to begin with. Each episode has a dedicated cover (mainly designed by myself) and just above the logo from the second episode onwards I wrote ‘The UK’s No. 1 Retro Gaming Podcast’ and Andy said “Can you actually say that?” So I replied “Yes, we are the UK’s only retro gaming podcast” which was true when we started out. However I think that the main reason the show became so popular so quickly was because we were the only podcast at the time to focus on the UK scene, talking about the Spectrum, Amstrad, BBC & C64 whilst all of the American shows kept banging on about Atari, Nintendo & Sega.

Greyfox

How do you keep coming up with the varied content?

Dean

Luckily we have a great team working on the show who come up with the ideas for content, plus 40 odd years of gaming history to choose from makes it fairly easy.

Greyfox

How long does each episode take to edit of average and have you now created a special way of doing them?

Dean

We try to take turns with the editing but anyone who works on podcasts will tell you that editing the show is the least enjoyable part of the gig. It really depends on how smoothly the recording session goes, however its easy to spend days editing let alone hours.

Zapiy

How do you manage all the changes that have been a part of your podcasts history, the changing of hosts and so on?

Dean

When Andy & Glen left, a lot of people expected the show to end but I was determined that the show would continue. We had new team members by that point and I think the show has actually become a lot more entertaining & professionally produced since then. For the past couple of years, the line up of the show hasn’t actually changed and I think we’ve got the best team out there at the moment.

Zapiy

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

Dean

If you had told me 35 years ago I’d still be playing the games that I had played back then, I’d have said no way!  We were always looking forward to the next big thing! However I think that we all missed the simple mechanics and gameplay that a lot of these games had. Modern games are great if you have the time to play them but for me I prefer something that I can have a quick blast on.

Zapiy

You are getting more and more involved in hosting presentations at retro events, how did that come about and why?

Dean

Craig Turner (who runs the Revival events) had listened to some of our interviews on the show and thought that we would be good to see us interviewing guests live. Over the years we’ve built good relationships with people in the business so it becomes easier to persuade guests to take part. It’s also great fun and gives the show plenty of coverage.

Zapiy

Which episode would you say is your favourite and one you would recommend to a first time listener and why?

Dean

My favourite episode to record was the very first 8 Bit Wars episode that we done. I was defending the ZX Spectrum against the C64 & Amstrad guys and I think I done a very good job, of course it helped that the games chosen were very strong on the Spectrum. I still get hate mail from a few Amstrad & Commodore 64 fans today over that one 🙂

As for new listeners, any time after episode 100 is probably advisable.

TrekMD

Whats the process in new hosts joining Retro Asylum and how do you choose them?

Dean

We don’t generally take on new hosts unless someone decides to leave but we are always willing to listen to auditions if anyone wants to send them in.

TrekMD

Retro Asylum has won many plaudits over the years and even some highly regarded podcasting awards, tell us how this made you feel?

Dean

It’s always nice to feel appreciated and I won’t deny that the awards look pretty on a shelf but to be perfectly honest I get more of a buzz when someone comes to us at an event and tells us how much they enjoy the show. At the most recent event we talked at, a couple from America told us that they had booked their holiday to the UK at the time we were appearing so that they could come and see us live which was nice to hear. We once received an email from a guy who had sadly suffered a stroke, he started listening to the show and he told us that our passion for old games made him want to play them again, so he kept trying to play them and slowly but surely he improved his coordination skills and that without listening to the show he wouldn’t have made such a fast recovery. Things like that make all of our hard work worthwhile.

TrekMD

How important are these awards to you?

Dean

As I said, they are nice to have and we were very pleased to receive them but I doubt if we will win anymore. The podcast awards these days tend to go to professional radio shows that put out edited content as podcasts so I can’t see us getting anymore unless that changes.

Zapiy

Whats next for you and the team at Retro Asylum?

Dean

I’m really not sure, we are happy to continue doing what we are doing, as long as we have fun doing it and there’s still an audience who want to keep listening. YouTube seems to be the future but our main focus is as an audio podcast and I don’t have any desire to become a YouTube star 🙂

Finally

A huge thanks to Dean for taking the time to answer our questions, those who are new to the world of podcasting please check the guys out at Retro Asylum.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews: Dean Swain.
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 13:51:02 PM »
Nice interview!  Thank you!

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