It’s the end of the week. You’re totally exhausted from work, you are standing in your kitchen preparing your favourite meal that should cheer you up. A calm voice in the background is talking about some mysterious events. This gentle voice is escorting you straight to another world.
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This voice tells a new atmospheric story every Friday. Stories that let you dive deeper into the scenery and the emotions of one specific game. Every Friday a new game and a new world awaits you. Each Friday the Astrometrics are introducing you to what is about to come with their tune „Fire in the mountains“. You are as excited as if your favourite radio play from childhood was on and you are about to experience the next series of unfortunate or adventurous events. Only without the old crackling cassette. You listen to a story that draws your whole attention to itself. This story is preparing you for the upcoming review about the most important parts of the chosen indie game.
The voice belongs to James Moller. Since July 2018 he tells a new story every week. A story that transports you to the most precious places while you are cutting onions. This mysterious place is sealed off from all its outside influences. Your cutting board is becoming a clear scenery. There is just James, the discussed game and you. A familiar, intimate and pleasant atmosphere is surrounding this special place within every corner of its wonderful existence. This special place is the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast.
Medium of Choice
James has been a huge fan of the podcast medium for years: „It’s a medium which is welcome to newcomers as well as very personal in nature“. You can feel this personal level in every formed sentence that James is spreading through his microphone across the whole wide world. It’s as if he was speaking directly to yourself. Just James and you on an old, comfy sofa in front of the warming fire place next to the walnut coloured shelf filled with books and board games, having a glas of fresh brewed beer while James is talking about his newly discovered indie game. In every carefully picked accentuation you notice the joy James is having with this medium. It is his medium of choice. The Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast is exactly what James wanted to do.
Where is this unique quality coming from? Why is James able to talk so calmly, objectively and yet so emotional? Where does this lush production with the intro song and the transitions come from; all those small details that transform the podcast into a worthwhile listening event? James doesn’t have any experience in producing a podcast, does he? „If being an avid listener of other podcasts counts as experience, then YES; otherwise, the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast is my first time ever creating and producing a show.“
It seems like he listened very closely to other shows before producing his own podcast and came to the perfect conclusion: „I learned through lots of experimentation and articles online, but the learning never really stops. Part of what makes podcasting fun is the challenge of wanting to continually create something better“.
What’s so special about Klutch Kitten Gaming?
After the intro has gone by, answering some questions of the gaming community and pulling you deeper into the world of the game by telling an emotional story, James starts discussing the core elements of a game. It is the heart of the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast, the recurring structure within his versatile show. That’s the thing that is separating the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast from other video game shows, it’s the unique selling point.
On the one hand there is the compact structure of the show. Usually an episode isn’t much longer than 20 minutes. But on the other hand you got the focus on just one game per show. „Although there are a ton of solid gaming podcasts out there, I didn’t see a lot of short-form shows addressing indie games. I like to focus on one specific indie game in each episode and I shoot for around 20 minutes per show. Within that time, I do my best to address some of the key elements of the game (narrative, gameplay, art and sound design) and once that’s done I give my verdict on whether or not I believe the game is worth your time and money.“
Sometimes James is experimenting with some interviews as well but the majority of his episodes are those perfectly clocked and excitingly structured short solo shows focusing on just one game. There are a ton of game types out there. Why is he specialized in reviewing indie games only? „What’s interesting to me about indie games is that although they generally have a much smaller budget and development team than AAA games, they often compensate with incredible ingenuity in what they design. While AAA developers usually have investors to please, the primary motivation for indie developers is expressing their creativity and pleasing their players. That kind of motivation ends up producing amazing games like Celeste, Darkest Dungeon, The Messenger, and many others.“
Fascination and lifeblood
It is the fascination about something that drives James to create something unique himself within his medium of choice. But informative, creative and exciting output is taking a lot of time to create as well. Like he always mentions during the intro of the show he plays a game for at least five hours. So those five hours of the week are gone for playing a game he will review. Sometimes it could be less if the game can be played through faster. If games will need to be played more than those five hours James always makes clear that he didn’t play through the game and that his opinion is based on a first impression. In addition to this five hours there are always two up to four hours of recording, editing and producing the podcast. But without decent promotion nobody would listen to the show and that’s where another couple of hours are invested in promoting the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast on social media; especially on Instagram, which is James’ most preferred platform. And that is where you have heard of the KKG Podcast for the very first time.
Suddenly James’ lifeblood project is becoming a part-time-job. A job he is doing on weeknights. A job he is funding 100% by himself, while working full time as a state auditor. „Depending on its success I may create a Patreon at some point; however, the podcast started as a passion project, and I plan to keep making it whether or not I receive funding.“
It is this consequence, the unrestrained fascination and the love for this medium that you can hear within every second of the Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast. It is an educating, entertaining and creative piece of transmitted audio files. It is a podcast that would be outstanding without even focusing on indie games. It is James’ pleasant way of presenting the show and the special choice of subjects that adds even more quality to it. James loves indie games. He is able to discover all the small details within sound, art and gameplay and how they are connected to the overall experience. James knows what he is talking about because he spent a tremendous amount of time playing those games he loves.
He talks about games you love, he talks about games you missed, he talks about games you haven’t even heard of and he talks about games you aren’t even interested in. But in the end all Klutch Kitten Gaming episodes have something in common: You had a great time while listening to them. Your life just slowed down for a bit. The indulgence of James’ podcast is just relaxing. After a Klutch Kitten Gaming Podcast listening session you are finally calmed down and ready for the upcoming weekend. Like every Friday when you are preparing your favourite meal.
What else do you need to know about James?
James is spending a lot of time with gaming, obviously. But it’s not just indie games. There are some triple-a titles he enjoys as well. Such as NieR:Automata, Assassin’s Creed and League of Legends. He mostly plays on PC and Switch. It is hard for him to just name a few favourite indie titles as there are so many across every genre. But he had a very good time with What remains of Edith Finch, Into the Breach, Stardew Valley and others.
Besides being a huge gaming nerd he seems to find some time for other hobbies as well. So when James isn’t gaming he enjoys spending time playing table-top games, reading books and graphic novels. He likes hanging out at coffee shops and spending time with his lovely wife. And when he has done all of that he still finds some time brewing beer at home. Does James’ day really have only 24 hours like ours? Is he in possession of a cheat code to manipulate time? We don’t know. What’s left to say is a bottoms up for James’ great work on his unique show.
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Some additional nice tunes that are played during the Podcast:
Intro: „Fire in the Mountain“ – Astrometrics
- Transitions: „Single Player“ – Chad Crouch
- Outro: „Into Hyperspace“ – Astrometrics
Author: Benja Hiller
Die Allround-Tante von WTLW. Trägt Kamera, trinkt Oatly Kakao und spielt alle narrativen Games mit gebrochenen Wesen und kaputten Persönlichkeiten. Gerne minimalistisch und völlig entsättigt. Hauptsache irgendwie eigen, mit dem nötigen Wahnwitz im Konzept. Außerdem fährt sie mit Leidenschaft im Kreis.