When it comes to Let’s Playing, everyone has their own way of doing things. Today, I’m going to share my “rules” so to speak. These aren’t what I expect others to follow, these are what I follow. Most of the time.
Game Aspect Ratio
The biggest factor for me is the game aspect ratio. If a game is 4:3, then that is how I shall Let’s Play it. There are so many DS Let’s Plays I’ve chosen not to watch because someone has stretched it to “fit the screen”. In my opinion, it look ugly. Thus, I always show my game footage at it’s intended aspect ratio.
Now, this is a funny one. I try my best to remove all black space from my videos. I’m not talking about 4:3 footage here. As some of you may know, when you record, there is a black boarder around the game, on a TV you don’t notice this, on a YouTube video you do – thus I crop it out.
Filling the Void
As you know from my Pokémon Snap Let’s Play, I didn’t have a ‘sidebar’, I had the 4:3 black void. Usually, I don’t like doing this, but whether or not I fill that space is determined by the game. In Pokémon Snap, for example, any sidebar I create I feel would be redundant. Whilst I could have filled it for aesthetic reasons, I chose not to as I felt it wouldn’t enhance the Let’s Play experience in any way, you’d look at it for a brief couple of seconds, judge it and then never think of it again – not really worth the extra hour or two I could spend recording more videos, is it?
Whilst I’d like to blend informative and casual commentary types, I know I’m not good at it. So I decide what my commentary will be like in the planning stages, let’s say for example, it was a game a really knew, say Professor Layton and the Curious Village, I could probably fill those videos with insightful commentary about the characters, puzzles or plot, whereas, say Left 4 Dead, I have no clue, thus I’d sound like an idiot reading from a Wiki page like some form of drone. If I don’t know a lot about a game, I won’t try to pretend that I do, because if anything, I may end up misinforming you, and that would really go against the point.
I try to avoid this, but it is a possibility.
I tend to avoid doing this as it is a terrible twirling mess downwards. More often than not, the first recording will be the best. Of course, there are videos I have recorded that I’m not happy with, but I’m only human. And if I dwell on the commentary of one video for too long it doesn’t become an enjoyable pass time. I’ll just upload it, apologise, and then move on. And try to have a much better next video!
This is a hobby, not just Let’s Playing, but Blogging, and Vlogging, and now making Podcasts. So when they become unenjoyable I’ll stop. If I’m Let’s Playing a game and it’s just going terribly wrong, I’ll stop. I may put it on a long hiatus and resume it when I’m ready. I may never resume it. I may delete the videos from it. I’ll try my best not to delete videos from it, because once you get into the habit of that, you’ll never stop. Trust me, I know. This is also why I don’t take requests, I may consider them, and eventually decide to do them, but I don’t directly take requests – suggestions, yes.
I’m here to enjoy myself, so why have rules? To be proud of my so-called wasted time, that’s why. Think of it like writing music in your spare time, you’re going to feel better if the song you just wrote was actually good, even more so if someone else enjoys it too. And that’s why I do this, if I deem the video worthy, I upload it, and I’m happy / proud with it, it may not be as good as my other videos, but I like it to some extent. And I hope you enjoy it too.