recording walkthroughs [with an Aliens TC example]

Few of you have seen a couple of my walkthrough videos I did for DTWiD and BTSX. Now, I'm still trying to produce more, but I'm also looking for the best way to do this. I would like to get the optimal quality and get some reviews and suggestions.

The first movie in the "new batch" I've rendered shows the first level of the legendary Aliens TC. I'm calling this series simply ellmo plays: Aliens TC, I'm currently working on other wads in the "top 100 wads of all time", as well as other series, like BTSX and DTWiD which I will re-render to match with quality of this video. I have a shitty upload bandwidth so it'll take a while.

Note, that – because Aliens TC doesn't include new music and Doom1 music doesn't really fit – I played without music and added tracks from the original movie score afterwards. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.



I haven't played this TC in years! Probably more than 10 years, so I was almost doing the walkthrough blind, but even if I didn't I have a certain way of playing when I record. I try to avoid interruptions (no saves, no menus, no 20 attempts at getting that rocket jump done) and "act" as doomguy, looking at stuff so the viewer can see what I see and try to guess what I'm thinking.

I'm not the best player in the world, so I don't go for fast pistol UV 100% and that's probably never going to change (apart maybe from the original doom levels and DTWiD, but I still limit myself to 100% secrets, I can't be arsed with chasing down every single monster and item). Also doing this takes far too much time. What I want to record is an adventure, this is why I'm aiming to walkthrough only the most immersive, significant and sometimes obscure releases (e.g. I'm not sure I'll ever do an AV playthrough, because most of the community know those maps by heart... and are there people who would like to see me struggle for hours through this while they scream at me: "there's a fucking secret there, you moroooon!")

I'm curious as to:
  • how many of you watch walkthroughs / let's plays (does this include doom levels) ?
  • do you prefer when the let's-player talks or when they stfu and play?
  • what do you think about the volume of music and sound?
I play on osx and I use Screenflick (let's call it an osx-ian Fraps) and then I render the stuff with iMovie. If you have any experience in rednering movies like these I would like to know if there's any way I can avoid the colors being so washed after rendering the final piece.

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You say walkthrough a lot but according to your description this seems to be more of a playthrough.

A walkthrough suggests a guide, a certain level of competency and familiarity with the game. Ideally, a good walkthrough should have some degree of optimization - not as in speedrunning the game or showing leet skills, but as in making the information clear to the viewer, showing strategies the average gamer can use successfully, and so on.

A more relaxed and half-blind playthrough sounds like, well, a playthrough, a let's play. I don't mean to bore you with semantic nitpicks, it's just that using the commonly accepted terms will help you set the correct expectations for your audience.

Silent LPs can be fine if the game is entertaining enough to watch. I don't find Doom to be too interesting to watch unless we're talking relatively high-end play, but that's just me.

On the flipside, you have to be able to talk and not just vocalize. Babbling about random stuff, shouting or screaming isn't exactly quality commentary. But then, opinions are once again divided on that; we had another topic on LPs recently and some said they like commentators yelling at the screen because they can relate to them.

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Phml said:

You say walkthrough a lot but according to your description this seems to be more of a playthrough.

(...)

Ah, yes. You are most correct. Thanks for poinitng out.

Phml said:

On the flipside, you have to be able to talk and not just vocalize. Babbling about random stuff, shouting or screaming isn't exactly quality commentary. But then, opinions are once again divided on that; we had another topic on LPs recently and some said they like commentators yelling at the screen because they can relate to them.

So I figured, that's why I'm not doing it yet. I need to try this more "offline", fight my microphone anxiety and see if I'm making any sense.

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Why are the handrails missing in the video?

Personally I prefer the person playing to STFU because it's usually just drivel and misinformation about things like the game, the backstory, the source material or what have you that they spout anyway and I didn't come to listen to them yak, I came to watch the game. But at the same time, I often find people playing at such a low skill level that I find watching playthroughs to be frustrating.

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kristus said:

Why are the handrails missing in the video?

Wow, how could I not notice. This needs to be investigated.

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Something I find could be interesting however. And would go in hand with how you talk about playing as the Doom guy rather than as a player. Is that you could also do voice in character. Though it could be difficult to get right. Like for instance you don't want to be acting like and omnipotence and spoiling things for the viewer, but at the same time, not be coming of as too oblivious either.

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Hmmm, is is just me, but I prefer such walk/playthrus in the traditional way as demos, like -for example- John Romero did it. LMPs are cool!

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kristus said:

Something I find could be interesting however. And would go in hand with how you talk about playing as the Doom guy rather than as a player. Is that you could also do voice in character. Though it could be difficult to get right. Like for instance you don't want to be acting like and omnipotence and spoiling things for the viewer, but at the same time, not be coming of as too oblivious either.

Yeah, when I get to the point I'm comfortable with talking, I'll definitely try to complement gameplay rather than tell the viewers what's going to happen.

First I need to figure out where did the handrails go. The texture is in the wad, it doesn't seem to be applied on the map.

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Not a bad video so far but I'm pretty certain two of those rooms you went into were flagged as secret. I maybe wrong (I haven't played this in years). As for voice, I prefer without but as Kristus mentioned being the voice of the player would be nice albeit a little difficult.

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IIRC, the handrails are a bit odd in construction. I can't remember exactly what it is but I think it's something unusual like the patch is massively offset inside the texture or something. I remember many years ago encountering the problem in a number of source ports.


As for walk throughs, personally, I prefer written ones. If I need a walk through, I usually want to go directly to the bit that I need, skipping out additional information. A video makes that harder to do and even when I do get the bit I want, I can read it more quickly than I could waiting for someone to explain it or carry out the particular task.

All that being said, it's been acknowledged that this is more of a playthrough. It's interesting enough but it's just not the kind of thing that I find entertaining. I don't really get the whole "let's play" thing.

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