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Old 04-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
sai tyrus
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Rant/Quick questions on my videos...

Hey all, I have a few quick questions on my "Let's Play" videos. I want constructive criticism on how to improve them.

I've been looking at them, listening to them, and from my perspective, one of the biggest areas of improvement definitely needs to be audio when I'm speaking. I'm going to go through our headset thread and in a few months, probably purchase a quality microphone and headset. I definitely want a better headset to filter out background noises and provide better audio quality. I like speaking while I play as I feel it taps into more of the spontaneity of the moment. It also reminds me of why I play as I hear enthusiasm or excitement in my voice. I understand the need for professionalism to a degree, but I don't want to sound like NPR here. And maybe I cuss too much, but that's a big part of how I just am. I swear a LOT.

From my end, I like doing "Let's Play" videos compared to standard reviews because they are significantly less work than a review. A lot of YouTubers have these huge videos, running anywhere from 20 minutes or longer. I think that's incredibly boring. I also think a lot of these guys are way too long-winded and keep repeating some of the same things.

I think "Let's Plays" should be short, to the point, and give people an idea of the product. That's what I'm interested in any way. Now some titles, I can imagine a more in depth-look, but I personally have a short attention span and think that brevity is a plus.

I've been working on custom thumbnails to make videos prettier. I'd also like to incorporate a title splash screen at some point, but that's a while off.

I'm trying to tie in a cohesive theme with my blog and YouTube page, but that's also a way off.

I also realize that having newer games can be a plus, but at the moment, that's just not feasible with real life. I have gotten some copies from developers, but I'm definitely not at a point where I can get pre-release stuff (although I want to). I also understand that showing a diversity of games can be a plus, and I often show Natural Selection 2. But I love that shit! I know I need to try to break it up a bit more and show more of the diversity out there though. There may be a few more NS2 videos I submit to the main page, but they'll be highlighting updates, mods, or things that I think are particularly unique.

I've been really trying to educate myself on all things tech/computer-related. Considering I was pretty much computer illiterate a few years back and couldn't even embed a YouTube video here (Anenome taught me that!), I'm very proud and feel like I've come a long way. I'm going to start dabbling in the YouTube playbook, and have started taking an Intro to Computer Science over at Udacity. I also built my step-son a computer back in January, which was pretty damn cool, as I've never done such a thing before.

Back on topic, though, what would you guys like to see from my videos? What areas do you think I can improve upon?

Lastly, I want to say thanks to all of you. The community, the staff, and Evil himself. This is a really fantastic site and even though things can get heated, I love that I'm in a place where there's so many people that are just as passionate as I am about tall things geek.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
bean19
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1. I think they could actually be much tighter. Think 5-11 minutes with an ideal time of 7 minutes - anything longer and it should be two shows. Shorter videos that get watched a ton are what you want - while at the same time not being a Youtube dick who splits everything up needlessly to try to get more hits.

2. While I get that this isn't scripted and that is some of the appeal, I think you SHOULD script some of it. Having a solid intro and outro isn't hard - you basically rattle off a bit of information about a title very quickly (think 30 seconds - minute) and setup the gameplay that you are showing off. Giantbomb's quick looks or the reviews at Gametrailers are good examples.

Look at your Natural Selection video. I've played the game so I understand you are running through slime up and around walls to get to objectives and what the game is all about, who made it, when it came out, etc. but someone who just tuned in needs that information for context about what they are seeing and what you are saying. They also need to know who you are and what the "Let's Play" is going to show them. In journalism, this is called the "nut" - tightly-packed information that sets up the rest of the story.

3. Think about cutting up your gameplay footage and adding the audio track AFTER the gameplay. Basically, if the footage doesn't give you something to say or isn't leading anywhere - cut it. The other way to go would be to make an outline that shows the things you want to be sure to cover and then to search your footage for clips that demonstrate your points. I'd suggest making your outline before creating game footage clips as you'll be more likely to get the shots you need.

4. Finally, if you have an off-the-cuff funny friend who loves video games and/or who has genuinely funny banter with you, that's what will separate you from the leaders on youtube. The professionalism and structure previously mentioned gets you AMONG them, but personality and comedy will sell it. You could even phone in the professionalism a bit if you can make it funny, but people who understand comedy usually understand the importance of professionalism (no dead air, beats, setups, etc.), and professionalism is easy compared to writing and pulling off gags, so you almost always see them hand-in-hand.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
Ravijn
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4. Finally, if you have an off-the-cuff funny friend who loves video games and/or who has genuinely funny banter with you, that's what will separate you from the leaders on youtube. The professionalism and structure previously mentioned gets you AMONG them, but personality and comedy will sell it. You could even phone in the professionalism a bit if you can make it funny, but people who understand comedy usually understand the importance of professionalism (no dead air, beats, setups, etc.), and professionalism is easy compared to writing and pulling off gags, so you almost always see them hand-in-hand.
I couldn't agree more. I used to watch the Guild Wars 2 videos that WoodenPotatoes and his friend would make. Their back and forth banter made it fun to watch.

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Back on topic, though, what would you guys like to see from my videos? What areas do you think I can improve upon?
More titties. Preferably female.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
lockwoodx
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Sorry we have opposite schedules
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Lock is untouchable though, he's too cool to be targeted, like ever. He's Detroit's Heisenberg!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
sai tyrus
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Thanks bean19! Many great points! The friend spot is the toughest part, particularly finding a friend who'll play the games I like or am highlighting.

@Ravijin. Women Titties. Check.

And lock, one day mayhap!
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
shadow763
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Gratuitous boobs is a must. I like to not play games I have never heard of but will crap on like no ones business.

Ill need to watch some of these vids. As a connoisseur of swearing whilst gaming, I look forward to watching a fellow kinsman perform.
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