Celebrating 15 Years of Podcasting

Writing online isn’t the only anniversary I’m celebrating this year. I’ve been a podcaster for 15 years now. I’ve had my ups and downs; my burnout and balance, but I have been talking into a mic in one way or another for over half my life now.

My allure to podcasting was born out of hype for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I talked about how I fell in love with Show Me Your News! during the Brawl hype days with Peter Spezia (aka Youko) on MFP back in March to celebrate that game’s 15th anniversary. I was doing a video podcast of sorts with the Smash Cast then, but it only took two months after release for me to launch a show with two co-hosts.

On May 29, 2008, I created a text document with the new show’s first news outline. Here is the doc in it’s full glory:

But Our Princess is in Another Castle

Episode 1

– Welcome

– Podcast

– Brawl vs. Melee

– Mario Kart Wii

– Wii Ware and Simcity

– Wii Fit + Balance Board

– Rock Band Wii

– Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorerís of Time and Darkness

– Guitar Hero DS

– Darkrai Event

– Closing

Our show had the very original name of But Our Princess is in Another Castle (or as we quickly shortened it to BOPIIAC). It was hosted by myself and two pals I met through the power on the internet—Ava Wray and Rocky Ankeny. We had jerry-rigged means to record a Skype call off cheap USB microphones in all that glory. Recording ran exclusively off Rocky’s computer and we blatantly copied Peter’s style on SYMN. We were all around 13 years old.

I don’t have that original episode – I don’t have most of them – but I do have the second and the one Peter guested on! The show ran for 33 episodes based off my folders. It is near impossible to coordinate three teens to be reliable for a podcast. But we did do the thing for a little bit.

After BOPIIAC, I pivoted to making YouTube videos. I did After Effects tutorials, some retro game and hardware reviews, and posted some trailers. It was sporadic fun.

Back in 2013, I got the gang back together for a two episode stint of The Game Boys. That show was born out of a desire to have my own show again, on my blog, with folks I was familiar with. It died quickly due to a lack of commitment from everyone else. It was a passion project for me, not them. And that’s okay! It was a flawed design.

It wouldn’t be until 2015, that I’d begin my longest running show with my (now) longtime co-host Logan Moore. We started Millennial Gaming Speak because we wanted to get better at being “on air.” We did it both for our love of the medium and for our résumés. The show ran for three years with 127 episodes.

In 2017, Logan and I decided to grow out our podcasting reach. Logan had met a couple of guys, Michael Ruiz and Mario Rivera. He thought they’d be cool guys to work with and made the introductions. I don’t think there’s been a day since were we haven’t talked together. 

We decided to launch a small network with four shows. MGS was the heart of the network with its run nearing 100 episodes at the time. We created a catch-all show dubbed the Model Citizens Podcast. A place where all four of us could chat about whatever. A personal favorite of mine was the cereal mascot Hunger Games. Logan and Mike created a music retrospective show dubbed Reeling in the Years. Then I had my own show called Behind the Pixel, which they called “Beneath the Pixel” just to bug me. It worked.

Behind the Pixel was an interview show I hosted. It was the precursor to The Max Frequency Podcast. I had a wonderful slate of guests that I am still quite proud of to this day. I’d love to revisit them someday.

During the network’s yearlong run, I got married, Mike got engaged. I have no clue what Logan or Mario did. The vision for the shows may not have stuck around, but we have. We get together every year still. We even brought MCS back. It’s a privilege and joy to be friends with them all.

But I became burnt out. I hadn’t really dealt with that before. I had been pushing and pushing for this idea to work in the traditional video games media for years. When I knew Abby and I were going to be together for the long haul, I knew I wasn’t going to California to write about games. I needed to tap out and reassess. That led to a domino effect that killed that network; and that’s why they call me a podcast killer.

I stepped back for a couple of years. I guested on some friends’ shows. I launched this very website in 2020. A year later I started two new podcasts—The Max Frequency Podcast and Chapter Select. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been with the medium. I know where I am and where I want my work to go. There’s nothing ambiguous, no shroud over if I’ll work here or do that. I am in charge of my own platform. I get to make exactly what I want, how I want, and when I want.

My drive to record and edit has never been truly quelled. There have been gaps. There have been failures, flubs, and flops. But my attraction to podcasting hasn’t gone away in these past 15 years. 

There is a magic when making a podcast. I come alive behind the mic. My passion for clean edits, detailed show notes, and production is engrained in the fibers of my being. The rush after recording a killer episode is thrilling. Podcasts bring people together. I’ve made countless friends. I’ve had the privilege to speak with folks I admire. There’s a record of my thoughts, opinions, and feelings. And it all started with a game reference I barely understood and some classic Brawl vs Melee discussion.

If you’ve ever listened to my shows, I hope you have enjoyed them. Thank you for the past 15 years. Here’s to the next 15 and beyond! 🥂

It wouldn’t be an official Max Roberts history without links and citations. I went back and found every episodes I have been a guest on that I could publicly find. Some may or may not be available to listen, but at least the record is here. Enjoy.

The Last of Us Factions Multiplayer Game Delayed

Naughty Dog via Twitter

The Last of Us Fans,

We know many of you have been looking forward to hearing more about our The Last of Us Multiplayer Game. We’re incredibly proud of the job our studio has done thus far, but as development has continued, we’ve realized what is best for the game is to give it more time.

Our team will continue to work on the project, as well as our other games in development, including a brand new single-player experience; we look forward to sharing more soon.

We’re grateful to our fantastic community for your support – Thank you for your passion for our games, it continues to drive us.

I’m washing baseboards right now, but I had to pause to at least share this news. Something has been up with this game. It’s nearing a total of eight years in development; likely six in the “current” goal/iteration/ambition.

I’m gonna stew on this. Much to think about.

A Chapter Select Season 5 Update

Hello everybody! I have a quick update for Chapter Select and the Season 5 finale. 

I have to delay the episode. My wife and I just bought a house and this move has been more demanding than I anticipated. The episode has been recorded, but I do not have the 4-5 hours to edit, produce, and publish the finale before Wednesday, May 31.1

My office is just a big ol’ pile in the garage. My iMac is in its box. I don’t know when I’ll get to setting up my desk. It should be soonish on the list, since I do primarily work from home. Once my computer is plugged in, I know I can wake up early a couple of days and knock the edit out. 

I am disappointed I couldn’t get this done in time. I hate delaying a publicly promised project. Consistency is the key to growth and trust. I ran out of time. I am sorry I dropped the ball right at the finish line. 

Thankfully, Logan and I have now both moved within the last year, so major geographical events should be behind us. Plus, Season 6 is already half way done. 😉 

Thank you all for your understanding and patience. I promise I will get to editing as soon as I can. Also, how hype was that Resident Evil 4 VR Mode teaser. Bring on the VR games!

1. Heck, I’m writing and posting this from my phone so late because I am too tired to keep clean and unpack.

Celebrating 10 Years of Writing

A decade ago, I took advice from Greg Miller on Podcast Beyond. I wish I knew the episode in question, but the gist was this;

If you want to work at IGN/cover games, go out there and do the work. Start a blog, write, get in front of a camera. Do it.

When working the stock room at Kmart, I took this advice to heart. I started a blog called Go Left Gaming, based off a Miyamoto quote about rewarding the player that goes to the left and explores off the main path. I started my third YouTube channel (and it’s the one I have stuck with to this day). This advice directly inspired me to pursue a degree in journalism.

On May 18, 2013, I published my first written review for a game. I picked Guacamelee! and I opened with this cringe,

What happens when you mix avocados, onions, tomatoes, limes, garlic cloves, and peppers? You get a delicious bowl of guacamole. Now what would happen if you took memes, intense platforming, rich environments, deep combat, hilarious dialog, and gorgeous levels into one game? You would get Guacamelee.

Go Left Gaming is defunct now. I imported all of my posts here to Max Frequency and shut down the original .wordpress site. Maybe I should have kept it up, but I just wanted one place for my online work to live. Max Frequency is that place.

My work on Go Left Gaming would help me land gigs at some places. I would go on to write for PlayStation Insider, PlayStation Wire, and DualShockers.1 One time, I even interviewed at Twinfinite to write about MOBAs. Of course, the biggest gig was being a guide writer for IGN for five years. At the time, I thought the door was open. Greg’s advice worked and I was going to work full-time at IGN. Despite a handful of interviews, it never happened.

Looking back on the 10 years, Greg’s advice did work, just not the way 18-year-old Max expected. Now I have what I always strived for and I built it myself. I have two great podcasts that I pour myself into producing. I have a website that is all my own where I can write whatever I want, at my cadence, without being beholden to SEO trends. I am just as creatively free as I was in 2013. It just took a few years to figure out I always had the opportunity I wanted.

So if you’ve read or listened to any of my work in the past decade—from my in-depth histories on Breath of the Wild or Naughty Dog, to my reviews, to the hundreds of podcast episodes I have recorded—thank you. Here’s to the next 10 years! 🥂

1. I’m sensing a theme here.

PlayStation’s First Showcase in Two Years is Next Week

You’re Invited: PlayStation Showcase broadcasts live next Wednesday, May 24 at 1pm Pacific Time by Sid Shuman for the PlayStation Blog

PlayStation Showcase broadcasts live next Wednesday, May 24 at 1pm Pacific Time / 9pm British Time.

The show will run a bit over an hour, focusing on PS5 and PS VR2 games in development from top studios from around the world. Expect a glimpse at several new creations from PlayStation Studios, as well as spellbinding games from our third-party partners and indie creators.

Here’s a live view of the anticipation and desperation for PlayStation news.

Chapter Select: Season 5, Episode 10 – Resident Evil 6

Episode art generated by DALL-E 2 with the following prompt written by Max Roberts & Logan Moore - "A plane crashing over a burning, overrun city in China with hues of purple at night in a diorama style."
Illustration generated by DALL-E 2, prompted by Max Roberts & Logan Moore

The gang is finally all together in this ensemble co-op campaign smash up. Max Roberts and Logan Moore carry each other as they slog through this globetrotting adventure. It’s Raccoon City all over again and that may not be a good thing.

Download (45MB) — Episode Transcript

RSS FeedOvercastApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube

Resident Evil 6

Metacritic – 74/100

This episode was originally recorded on May 12, 2023.


Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Illustration generated by DALL-E 2, prompted by Max Roberts & Logan Moore.

Last Stand Media Launches “Punching Up: A Nintendo Podcast”

Introducing Punching Up, Last Stand Media’s Nintendo Podcast by Colin Moriarty for Last Stand Media

Today, we are pleased to launch an all-new product, one that many of you have asked for over the years. It’s called Punching Up: A Nintendo Podcast, a biweekly offering presented by Last Stand Media. You can listen to or watch the first episode right now, and if you’re not a Patron, our usual standard applies: The first episode is immediately free-for-all. So jump in!

…I think you’re going to be pleased who we tapped to co-host Punching Up: Our very own Dustin Furman (Executive Procucer and co-host of Sacred Symbols), Dagan Moriarty (co-host of Constellation and KnockBack), and Micah Watson (Coordinator and Shopkeep), and — for the first time as an official member of our family — Gene Park (The Washington Post).

This popped up in my feed and I was delighted and not surprised. After I chatted with Dustin on MFP two months ago, I asked if Last Stand was ever going to do a Nintendo show. Having coverage on The Big Three makes sense. While Dustin didn’t give me anything, I could tell during the intervening months that this was inevitable. Subtle drops or explanations of how they’d have to do it kept occurring. Colin mentioning designing a logo for a show. It was like buying a car and then suddenly seeing that model everywhere. I knew they’d tackle a Nintendo show soon.

The first episode is great with a killer lineup of hosts. There’s a wide range of experience, insight, and knowledge. I’ll dip out before the Tears of the Kingdom chatter, but I’m here from week one.

I Helped Make Humanity

I chatted about it with Chris Johnston on MFP a few episodes ago, but I was a beta tester for Enhance and tha.’s new game Humanity. Chris put out a call in the Relay FM member’s Discord and I answered. I did enough work to have my name in the credits.

I’d love to break down what I did and how, but on launch day, I just wanted to share the news. Humanity is the first game I looked for the credits option at boot. It wasn’t there. I just beat it and earned the Platinum this morning. Seeing my name scroll by was surreal and mind-blowing. I helped out in the smallest of ways. The team made the game; I helped refine.

I am quite proud.

Full disclosure: I was financially compensated for my time, playtesting, and feedback. I was also provided an advance copy of the game for PS5. I am very grateful for that actually, since I would have had to skip buying the game at launch since I bought too much Zelda and am buying a house today.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Digital Foundry

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – DF Tech Review – Is It Really ‘Too Big for Switch’…? by John Linneman for Digital Foundry

I could not believe the performance. A solid 30fps, outside of using the Ultrahand ability in busy areas. Nintendo knows their hardware inside and out. Crazy to think that the performance from previews had improved so rapidly with the day one patch.

I’m excited to dig into Zelda, someday soon. I have to finish this move and go to a wedding first. Sure, I could play portably, but I need to get cozy on the couch and play on the big screen.

How Nintendo Solved Zelda’s Open World Problem – GMTK

How Nintendo Solved Zelda’s Open World Problem by Mark Brown for Game Maker’s Toolkit

You might think this is just another GMTK game analysis that is timed for the release of a new game. While the timing part is true (gotta appease the SEO gods), the actual analysis is not Mark’s usual.

In 2017, Nintendo gave a presentation at the Computer Entertainment Developer Conference in Japan about how they solved for an open world where the player can go anywhere and do anything, yet still end up at key locations to progress the story. The talk was never uploaded and photos were essentially DMCA’d by Nintendo.

So Mark has recreated the talk. By digging through the Wayback Machine, having articles translated, and using modern tools, Mark has done his best to represent the original talk by Nintendo; and I think he nailed it. Insight directly from Nintendo is quite rare, as Mark notes, and this may be the closest we get to access that original material in a video/presentation format. It’s tight, focused, and insightful.

As for Tears of the Kingdom, I wonder how the horizon of triangles will be translated to floating blocks in the sky. Then you have to think, up on the floating islands, you can see the world below, so how do landmarks appear from above, with no obstruction (except for draw distance). I’m excited to see how Nintendo’s open world design has evolved in a post-Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey world.

Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro Finally Come to iPad

Apple brings Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro to iPad from Apple Newsroom

Apple today unveiled Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad…

Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad will be available on the App Store as subscriptions starting Tuesday, May 23…

…Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad will each be available on the App Store for $4.99 (US) per month or $49 (US) per year with a one-month free trial.

It’s happening.

Sony Shuts Down PixelOpus

PixelOpus on Twitter on May 5, 2023

Dear friends, our PixelOpus adventure has come to an end. As we look to new futures, we wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to the millions of passionate players who have supported us, and our mission to make beautiful, imaginative games with heart.
We are so grateful!

In this constant cycle of acquisitions, it’s not every day we see a first-party studio shut its doors. The last time Sony closed a first-party team was in 2021 with Japan Studio being reshuffled into Team Asobi. It’s unclear if the folks at PixelOpus are being reorganized throughout other teams or if everyone is just gone. Either way, my best wishes to all those affected.

Almost two years ago, PixelOpus announced a new wave of hiring for an Unreal Engine 5 project in partnership with Sony Pictures Animation. Seeing all of the TV shows and movies that are releasing this year, it’s easy to imagine that PixelOpus’ game was to be tied in with some sort of animated movie. Concrete Genie released just in 2019, so this new project had only been in the works for four years; and I suspect only really in serious development since that Unreal Engine 5 announcement two years ago.

The Core of the Xbox Brand

Phil Spencer Interview: Redfall Reviews, Activision Deal by Kinda Funny for the Kinda Funny Xcast Ep. 137

This interview dropped yesterday and I saw quite a few articles about it. I watched/listened, because any chance to hear an executive is interesting to me. Xbox is in and has been in a tough spot lately. So much is riding on Starfield. Games haven’t been hitting. Releases have been missed. It’s worth hearing what hte man in charge of Xbox has to say about this climate right before their Summer Showcase.

At the end of the interview, Phil Spencer spoke about Xbox’s (the console) position in the marketplace. Two quotes stood out to me as contradictory.

“We have a different vision…Play the games you want, with the people you want, anywhere you want. We want Xbox to be something that people who buy our console can feel like they are a member of. Obviously, who are playing on PC, who are playing on cloud, that they feel like full members of our ecosystem. Game Pass players can play on many different devices and we remain fully committed to that. We’re not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo. There isn’t really a great solution or win for us…”

This statement is quite matter of fact. Xbox is in “last place” when looking at console marketshare. This generation, I’d say that Xbox’s (the company) goal has not been to sell the most home consoles, but to sell the most subscriptions. We don’t know the exact numbers, but I’d wager that Game Pass has quite the user base. They don’t want to own the living room anymore; they want to own your time. They want Game Pass to be the hub for your game time. Whether that is on an Xbox console, a TV app, your phone, a Steam Deck, etc. they want your $15/month to be the foundation of your game library/access/time. That’s the different vision.

Yet, mere minutes later, Phil said this,

“The console is the core of the Xbox brand…”

It’s not anymore Phil. How can the console be the core when you aren’t trying to out-console either competitor? How can the console be the core when your games aren’t running well on said box?

It is okay for the box to not be the core anymore. Your subscription service can be. The brand still feels like it is in this transition period and they can’t quite say the truth.

I want Xbox to do well and release good, fun, exciting games. Competition is great. I am jazzed for Forza Motorsport now that I’m all in on sim racers. But I haven’t touched my Xbox in months. I packed it up the other day for the move knowing I won’t be playing it for the next couple of months. I haven’t paid for Live Gold or Game Pass in over a year. You have to make the games and release them to keep players engaged.

There was one other bit that caught my ear, but not from Phil. Host Mike Howard, aka SnowBikeMike, opened up the show asking about the blocking of the Activision, Blizzard, King acquisition by the CMA. This is what Mike said,

I didn’t want to have to do it like this, but Phil it’s been a tough week in the Xbox universe. As you know, of course, the CMA kinda blocking our acquisition of Activision, Blizzard, King…

As a commentator, reporter, host, etc. Mike should not be speaking for Xbox, Sony, Nintendo, or any company, other than the one that actually pays him. None of the $70 billion is Mike’s money.1 Mike’s career doesn’t ride or die on the acquisition. He’s not stressing out how to make the deal go through. I found it unprofessional and fan-focused. I get coming from a place of being an excited consumer, but you cannot have this our mindset as a professional commentator, reporter, host, etc.

1. Okay. That is technically not true. I assume it is a safe bet that some of Microsoft’s $70 billion did come from Mike (and me) buying Xbox consoles and games, but I digress.

‘This Guy Reads a Lot Better’, with Quinn Nelson – The Talk Show

‘This Guy Reads a Lot Better’, with Quinn Nelson by John Gruber for The Talk Show

Special guest Quinn Nelson joins the show to talk about Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset, Apple silicon, and more.

No, this is not an episode of MFP. I wish! Seeing Quinn be a guest on The Talk Show made me quite happy. I’ve been watching and following Quinn’s work for nearly a decade.1 I would wager that being on The Talk Show is a dream most Apple fans, observers, commentators. As someone who looks up to both these fine folks, I felt pride listening to Quinn. Maybe someday I’ll get to talk to both of them.2

Plus, all their discussion on Apple’s VR/AR headset is spot on. This is a must listen before WWDC in one month.

1. YouTube says I started back in September 2014 with his “All About Headphones” series.

2. I don’t think I meet The Talk Show guest requirements, but maybe someday on MFP.