Andy Bauman - OXM's pocast technical producer.
Andy Bauman, thank you so much for agreeing to be Xbox Resource’s second interview. Everyone is excited to hear what you say, and we thank you for taking time to do this!
1) First off Andy, tell the Xbox Resource readers exactly what you do with the Official Xbox Magazine podcast?
--I lay down the waveforms, edit them into a radio-style presentation and now co-host the podcast.
2) Most OXM listeners would know how you were a major PC gamer, and once you started co-hosting with Ryan McCaffrey you starting getting into the Xbox 360. Since you started getting into the Xbox 360, what is one thing that has jumped out for you that has made you appreciate the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, etc.?
--The Xbox 360 to me, is such an elegant media device. Recently, after picking up Red Dead Redemption I wanted to watch some of the movies that had been a direct influence on the tone of the game and was able to do so instantly via the Netflix app. The tight integration of game and movie library enabled me to explore the wild west mythos therefore enhancing my experience with Red Dead all without having to leave the house, a misanthrope's ideal world.
Also, Trials HD is the best game ever made so yeah, Live Arcade gets some major points too.
3) With so many great games heading our way in the next couple of months and all the way till the end of 2010, what are you looking most forward to playing and why?
--Mafia 2 - Loved the first one, it's been a while since I played it but I think I liked it for a few key reasons. Gun fights in interesting locations with great period weaponry - Tommy guns and 1911's tearing up a church full of mobsters. And the grounded in reality open city setting was excellent. Seeing a modern version of that game with a proper physics engine sounds great!
4) The question still lingers quite a bit these days, especially with the economy the way it is, about $60 games being too much. Do you think game prices should be cheaper or do you feel like $60 is worth what you’re getting these days?
--I hate the 60 dollar price point. As a PC gamer I'm used to paying 50 dollars and getting everything digitally so its painful for me to pay 10 more for a game just because MS or Sony thinks their "next-gen" hardware makes games ten dollars better or whatever. There is a economical debate here regarding market value and what consumers are willing to pay but I was cursing all the way to the bank when I bought Starcraft 2 for 60 dollars knowing there was no certification/manufacturing/extraneous costs. I really don't have a rationally formed argument, I guess. Hell, I payed 300 dollars for a noise-reduction plug-in to help the podcasts sound better, would anybody else in the podcast realm do that? Doubt it.
5) E3 brought us so much news that it was almost too much to take in. What announcement really excited you and why?
--There was nothing but a splashcreen but the Battlefield nerd in me wants to know more about Bad Company 2's Vietnam pack!
6) What brought you over to the Xbox 360 from the PC side of things? Was it just the fact that Dan Amrich had left OXM leaving you the new co-host, or was there a certain compelling aspect to the Xbox 360 (Live service, applications, etc.)?
--I really felt like I was missing out on a big portion of gaming culture by not being on Live. Once I saw how incredible Trials HD is with no comparable PC version I was sold. Netflix is fucking amazing too on that machine. You really get a lot for your money where as 300 dollars gets you a mid level video card on a PC.
7) How did you get involved with the Official Xbox Magazine podcast in the first place, and how do you feel about being a co-host now?
--Jeremy Williams kicked off the podcasting at all the Future pubs while I was still in college and I followed PC Gamer and Maximum PC really closely. When people would ask how Jeremy did the podcasts it sounded like something I could easliy do, as I liked the same production tools as him etc..Two years later when he was annoucing his departure to work on Qore I fired off an email causually asking about his new job and how cool it sounded. My email sig at the time was from my job at a television studio as a videographer/editor and he latched on to that and decided to take me in as his replacement. Best thing that has ever happened to me, like honeslty, and OXM came with the package.
8) What game so far in 2010 has left you with that “wow” factor in terms of a great game, and why has it been your favorite so far?
--Mass Effect 2. I know it's douchey, and all that comes with it but I'll say it, I am a cinematographer. And with ME2 I was constantly admiring the "lensing and lighting" of the talky bits. I mean, there IS NO LENS haha its a game for pets sake. Add that with the universe lore, story line, and acting and it was just such a fulfilling experience and one that could ONLY exist as a video game. Some of the shooting was fun too, I suppose haha.
9) I know some of us writers for Xbox Resource and even some of our readers have been interested in doing a podcast. What is the best way to get started in doing a podcast? Also, any advice on doing a podcast?
--I can only really speak from a technical side, but having people that can talk passionately about a subject seems to be a key thing. Don't take the technical aspect lightly, really try and learn about audio production and always be trying to improve quality. Audacity is a pain in the ass compared to commercial tools, my favorite being Vegas Pro 9.0 by Sony. Maybe garage band is better, but I've played around with it a little and it seems shitty. I don't consider myself a sound guy, but I've learned so much since taking over the podcasts its been awesome. Whatever though, every podcast out there has practically no post-production or is hastily done and sounds fine so don't listen to my bullshit. Get some decent mics and hit record on your fucking macbook, it can be that easy.
My dream is to rip-off This American Life the TV show and make stories revolving around gamer-culture...someday.
Well Andy, thank you so much for answering our questions and taking the time out of your day to do this. It means a lot to all of us at Xbox Resource, so thank you so much. If you guys want to see more of Andy Bauman, you can listen to him on OXM’s podcast, or head over to his website by clicking the following link – (http://www.andybauman.squarespace.com). Andy also said, "Thank you for being awesome and being interested in OXM. I will give Xbox resource props on the next show!" This is Tate Steinlage (SteinlageT) along with Andy Bauman signing off.