Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2 Year Anniversary on YouTube

Today is my 2 year anniversary of posting video on YouTube.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  Thanks to YouTube I’ve finished a bunch of games with several more about to be finished.  Before I started my channel I don’t know that I would have been able to say I’ve finished ANY games.  I’m not perfect.  Not even close.  But I’m getting better.  (I will never be perfect because there are just too many games out there to play.)

What have I learned:

It take a lot of time to get a video filmed, edited and posted on YT.  Sometimes I wish I could just film and someone else do the editing and posting.  Other times I wish someone else would play the games and I could just edit them.  I’m currently in a “I like to film” phase.  I’m hoping to store up a lot of videos to edit later when I’m in that “I like to edit phase”.

I still don’t have a rhyme or reason to what I post and when I do it.  With the exception of the month of October (scary/spooky/Halloween games) and a military game for Veteran’s Day in November.  It’s hard to pick a game around a holiday but those 2 holidays make it easier.  I’ve tried planning on playing an older game when a new sequel comes out but I can’t time it right so I never know when to start filming or posting them.  Maybe I’ll figure that out later.

If says it takes about 10 hours to complete a game it will probably take me about 18-20.  I thorough and ’m a completionist.  I like to check every nook and cranny in a place before moving on to the next.  And sometimes I have to check 2 or 3 times because I was talking and not paying any attention to what I was doing so I might have missed something.  It’s probably annoying to watch.  I know it’s annoying to me but I can’t help myself.  It’s a small OCD thing that I have that even gets on my nerves (but not as much as if I DIDN’T check everything a couple of times before moving on).

If I have to concentration and focus really hard to get through a difficult section of the game (like a boss fight or tough puzzle) I tend to get really quiet.  I don’t know how other YouTubers can carry on a conversation yet still focus on the problem at hand.  I can’t seem to divide my attention enough to do either one of those things well in those situations.  So I usually just keep my mouth shut and concentrate on the game.  Maybe I’ll get better . . . .

I don’t think I’ll ever get better at video games.  Even though I’m playing more than I use to, I don’t think I’m learning anything to make me better.  My reflexes aren’t getting any better.  My problem solving skills aren’t improving.  Sometimes I even think I might be digressing and going backwards.  I’m still having fun so I’ll keep playing.

Some games are so much easier to edit than others.  The Lego games are easy to edit.  Other games like Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits and Dark Cloud are a little more time consuming to do.  A lot of that has to do with load screens.  Some games have a lot of them.  Some have really long ones.  And some have a lot of them that last a really long time.  Personally when I’m watching videos online, I find it frustrating to sit there for 10 seconds (or more) staring at a blank screen because it’s a load screen.  Edit those dead spaces out!!!  I do.  For some games that’s tough.  For others it’s a dream.

I never thought I would like the editing process.  It seemed the most tedious and boring part of the whole thing.  At first, it really was boring and tedious.  The more I’m doing it the more I find I like it.  Even when I’m not really in the mood to edit.  There’s something about the editing process that makes it more creative than what I feel when I’m playing the game.  If I could find a way to do that for a living I think I probably would.  There’s still A LOT about editing that I don’t understand and know, but I’m willing to learn.

Every game I play (or plan to play) I think of in terms of “will this make a good video/series”.  There has been one game that I filmed 3 videos in and when I went to edit it decided that it wouldn’t be a great game to post.  The game itself is not bad, it just doesn’t lend itself to compelling gameplay that I would want to watch if someone else was playing.  People have made videos in this game, but I can’t watch them for more than a couple of minutes at a time.  On the other hand there are games I really want to play and I know they would make a great series but I don’t have the time to devote to those games now so . . . I don’t play them.  This sucks and I don’t like it, but I don’t want to start a game and play it for a while only to restart it later because now I want to film it.  Tough choices man.

I’ve decided that I will play and post videos of the games that I want to play.  I’ll try really hard not to think that I’ve only got to play and post new games.  Or games that are famous.  Or popular.  It’s not fun to play a game when you feel like you’re being forced to.  It takes all the fun out of it.  If I want people to enjoy my games then I’ve got to enjoy them myself.  Even if I lose.  Or die a lot of times.  That’s why there’s a long time between videos for Psychonauts and Rayman Origins.  I’m not feeling those games right now so I won’t play them until I’m more excited to do so.  This means that I might be playing a bunch of older games that have been around for a decade or more.  I like some of those older games.  But I’ll also try to play things more current because I like those games too.  My channel will just be a smorgasbord of the things I like at any given moment.

For some games I think I want to have a big chunk of the game recorded before I start publishing the videos.  I find it easier to remember what to do, or remember what the controls are if I keep playing it for a while before I get in to a schedule of posting videos.  Not all games are like that.  The Lego games are easy to sit down and record just one level here and there as needed.  Not all games are like that.  I also think that having a large part of the game already recorded before posting gives me a better idea of how long the game will last.  Maybe I can do better at scheduling topical games if I do that.

Doing this is like having a second job.  I’m spending 20-30 hours of week to get 5 or so videos posted.  It’s not leaving a lot of room for any other hobbies or things I’d like to do.  It’s a sacrifice I’m still willing to make even if my family doesn’t understand why I do it.

Right now I still love what I’m doing and I will continue to record videos and post online.  I won’t stop until I no longer find any enjoyment out of playing games and finishing them.  And I don’t see that happening any time soon.  I love seeing my audience grow.  Slowly.  Little by little.  But it’s growing.  I love that.  And when I say I’m open to suggestions of what to play, I mean it.  I really am.  I might not get to it right away, but I’ll put it on the list of what to play next.  So far I have 6 or 7 on the list.  Some suggestions by friends, some for other reasons.  You’ll learn more about those later on.  All in all, it’s been a good couple of years.

Things to work on this next year:  1) learn how to use Photoshop and 2) make better thumbnails.  3) Make intro channel animated slate for videos (might need a LOT of help on this one).