There's a real inflexibility that comes with the term "Quick Look." It actually wasn't always that way, but now that we've been putting those words in front of videos for over five years, there's something of an expectation about what, exactly, a Quick Look is.
For starters, they aren't quick. At least, they aren't anymore. They're usually a solid chunk of a game, sometimes crossing the one-hour mark. That's pretty weird when you consider that the first few of these were around 15 minutes. With that in mind, a game needs to have that significant chunk available before we can Quick Look it. That excludes a lot of things, assuming you're interested in having the term "Quick Look" mean something specific. For a time, we thought about just using that name for everything, regardless of the state of a given game. Preview versions of games, demos, and final products all fell under that umbrella. It's led to a little confusion over the years and created a bit of a reluctance on our part to record multiple Quick Looks for the same game. To help sidestep some of those (admittedly semantic) issues and give us a defined place for preview-style coverage, we're creating "Unfinished."
Unfinished is a spot for us to look at everything else, like Early Access games from Steam that consist of little more than a sandbox and a dream. Or very early (and very restricted) preview copies of games from major publishers. Maybe an occasional tech demo or two. And, potentially, video footage that would have fallen under the "Man, I Saw That!" or "What It Is" banners in the past. We want to keep it somewhat flexible without losing the meaning. But the general idea is that what we're looking at isn't full-fledged enough to carry an entire Quick Look just yet.
Actually, how about instead of writing all this, I just show you what Drew sent around to everyone else today?
Jeff and I were talking today about finally taking advantage of Early Access-type games. There's potentially a lot of content there and it feels weird not to acknowledge games that people are talking about in an official video capacity. They don't really fit into Quick Looks, and locking them behind a paywall in UPF is a little weird, so we need something new.
The name we came up with was Unfinished. It's universal so that we can include stuff outside of Steam, and it gets across that these games are not in their final state and are not necessarily subject to Quick Look-style treatment.
Naming it something completely new (and not like "Early Look" or something) also frees us up to be flexible with the format, which will be helpful since pre-release games are so wildly different in terms of content and scope. Maybe sometimes the video is only 7 min long. Maybe it's a series of hour-long videos. Maybe it's a one-person video. Maybe we do three games in one video with cameras and a set. Maybe we even incorporate editor impressions and screenshots from preview events that we weren't allowed to take footage at.
What do you guys think?
This actually led to about 14 emails back and forth as we decided what sort of title format we should use (like, should we put the version number in the headline? What happens when we don't know the version number?) and a few other details. But here's the short version: Look for coverage of Bugbear's Next Car Game to hit tomorrow and... well... I'm going to go see how far along Audiosurf 2 is at the moment.