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Posted by Jams (3043 posts) 3 years, 7 months ago

Poll: What do you like in a "Let's Play" video? (81 votes)

Straight game play, no voice overs 12%
Straight game play, with commentary 78%
edited game play, no voice overs 7%
edited game play, with commentary 31%
Along with my other answer I do like to see who is doing the talking with a picture in picture or cut away. 11%

So I'm thinking about going balls deep into the world of making videos and writing blogs about video games. While I'm thinking about recording a Let's play; I'm wondering how it should be handled. I personally enjoy straight game play videos with no commentary or editing done. But that's because most videos have terrible quality commentary (whether that be from a poor quality microphone to a lip smacking mouth breather talking farts). If I did the video with commentary, I am experienced enough in audio recording to have my voice at least come in clear and concise with a quality microphone.

So what I'm wondering from you guys is; what kind of Let's Play do you prefer?

I'd like your answers to revolve around the idea of going in to a video without previous knowledge of how the YouTube user is going to sound or act. What would you like to see?

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#1 Posted by jdh5153 (1097 posts) -

Just gameplay and commentary. But if it's not interesting commentary there's no point. So the person creating the video should have a 'radio voice', be confident and be entertaining. Otherwise it's just another bland YouTube video.

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#2 Edited by dungbootle (2502 posts) -

I think it's really a personality-driven thing, but an LP with no commentary, showing a good walkthrough/guide, whether by editing or just good playing, is also nice.

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#3 Edited by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

If there's no commentary, I might as well play the game for myself. I watch those kinds of things to see how other people interpret the experience of playing a given game. I've been looking into doing this myself but my capture hardware is so finicky that I probably have to build a separate computer just to run it in a stable enough fashion to do a regular video series.

But yeah they have to be damn good at it, audio quality just doesn't cut it, the person has to be funny and on point.

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#4 Posted by Pazy (2745 posts) -

Its all about the personality for me, its why ive watched the Yogscast play so much Minecraft for so long. I like Minecraft, but I love the Yogscast.

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#5 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2936 posts) -

The commentary is what makes the any of the Endurance Run's worth watching again and again. Otherwise I feel like I'm watching a video guide.

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#6 Posted by BeachThunder (14343 posts) -

I usually like straight gameplay, but edited is ok, if it's well done, like this:

Loading Video...

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#7 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5483 posts) -

Sorry, I picked them all.

I think they each work depending on the game and the person. If I want to watch someone just do awesome moves or get a high score in something like Super Meat Bot - it doesn't *need* commentary. But if the personality's good. Why not?

I do really appreciate background info (it's history, what's it about, who developed it, any other interesting facts) as they go, especially for rarer or older games.

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#8 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

Sorry, I picked them all.

I think they each work depending on the game and the person. If I want to watch someone just do awesome moves or get a high score in something like Super Meat Bot - it doesn't *need* commentary. But if the personality's good. Why not?

I do really appreciate background info (it's history, what's it about, who developed it, any other interesting facts) as they go, especially for rarer or older games.

That's true that it really depends on what I want the video to be. I'm going to have a lot to think about in what I want to accomplish with the video. Even though you checked them all off your post is good info. I'm taking some notes and giving verbal information about who built the game, when it came out and some other little bits of info would be really good to start.

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#9 Edited by Animasta (14851 posts) -

you know that first thing really isn't a let's play right?

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#10 Posted by Aterons (207 posts) -

Depends on game really , but generally i see no reason to see a commentary deprived let's play ( and even those i don't watch many, and when i do is mainly in the "background" of what i'm doing ), the edited/uncut is really game by game/person by person kind of thing.

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#11 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1381 posts) -

I prefer gameplay with commentary and any boring shit edited out.

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#12 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -
@animasta said:

you know that first thing really isn't a let's play right?

Yeah I suppose you're right. Though when I'm looking for a video about a certain game, they get lumped in the Let's Play a lot. In retrospect I shouldn't have asked about what you like to see in a Let's play and more of, "When searching for footage of a game, what kind of video would you rather see". Does that make more sense?

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#13 Posted by Ares42 (3412 posts) -

I can assure you that if there is nothing else going on but gameplay you won't see much success unless you're constantly providing unqiue footage (which is pretty much impossible). The whole videogame-playing business is pretty much all about personality. Think of it like fishing, the game is the bait and the personality is the hook.

You can look at pretty much anyone that's made a name for themselves in this business and link them directly to a game that brought in the audience, but at the same time there was a lot of other people doing the same thing that didn't have the personality to make people stick around.

So if you want to build a large audience you should keep switching up games regularly until you find something that brings in a lot of people (betas or early access are especially good), and make sure you're interesting to listen to. Also, make sure your content is regular and scheduled, and get ready for tons of hate :P

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#14 Posted by Sarx (165 posts) -

Nothing of the above is important. I want a perfect 100% walkthrough from a guy who knows the game and its lore and, optionally, development trivia and/or other nice to know stuff and comments on it in a natural and informative way.

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#15 Posted by Veektarius (5901 posts) -

I think that one thing I've noticed some people have a talent for and others don't is respecting the fact the audience might be interested in the game's story. Do not loudly yell your irrelevant jokes over dialogue in the game. Unless you're "Let's Play"ing a movie, there are plenty of lulls in the story in which to inject your personality.

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#16 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (1525 posts) -

Making them.

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#17 Edited by stryker1121 (2024 posts) -

I like straight up gameplay with commentary, preferably "blind" playthroughs like the Chrono Trigger endurance run. I like watching people think through difficult fights or puzzles in games. Nothing more boring to me than speed runs where the dude has obv played the game 100 times and knows every corner and enemy spawning point.

Also, totally agree on personality driven aspect of it. If the guy is swearing or trying to be funny every two seconds that's usually a no sale for me. Less is more, particularly for one-man LPs.

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#18 Posted by byterunner (348 posts) -

@sarx: sounds like you enjoy HCBailly

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#19 Posted by Sarx (165 posts) -

@byterunner: Was thinking about the Myst/Riven and Gabriel Knight LPs by Dilandau3000 but will check HCBailly out, thanks for the tip!

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#20 Posted by Kidable (130 posts) -

Edited gameplay, with commentary. I really, really don't care if you're MLG pro-skillz at the game or not, that's not what I like to watch in my free time. I like to watch insightful thought-provoking commentary, and if you feel like there's too much filler; Cool, get rid of it.

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#21 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

Commentary but the person commenting has to be good about it. I generally prefer edited footage but some games are fine without it.

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#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36565 posts) -

I prefer if the person doing it edits out all the boring, unimportant stuff the audience doesn't really need to see (EG all the random battles in an RPG).

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#23 Edited by Funkydupe (3585 posts) -

I really don't like the edited versions. I like blind playthroughs, a person's first impressions and experiences with the game is what I find entertaining. The deciding factor for me when watching a playthrough/Let's Play is whether I connect with the creator of the video, and to do that commentary is a must, but yeah it depends almost entirely on the person playing. There are so many people doing playthroughs and stuff on YouTube so finding people who I find watchable isn't hard at all.

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#24 Posted by MikeJFlick (452 posts) -

Straight gameplay(Edited minus loading screens only makes it something other than a lets play in my opinion) with commentary as long as the person doesn't have a childish voice or a "fat"(sorry fatties I hate fat voices) voice.

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#25 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

I prefer if the person doing it edits out all the boring, unimportant stuff the audience doesn't really need to see (EG all the random battles in an RPG).

I figure if I'm doing a grindy part or something like intricate building that fixates on one task for too long that I'd do a fastforward where you see it unfold but at 4x the speed (or whatever speed works)

Have you ever thought about doing any videos? You know, other than bouncing anime girls. Do you think your ability to write blog posts would translate in any way to video?

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#26 Edited by Video_Game_King (36565 posts) -

@jams:

I actually did make a video LP for Tail Concerto, but it ended poorly. I left it up for a while, but then somebody posted a fucking vore comment, and I decided to unlist the whole thing and leave it to rot. I have been considering doing video reviews and maybe some old school Quick Looks, although I think that will be a while longer before I decide to tackle that.

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#27 Posted by leebmx (2343 posts) -

If anyone is commenting on a games video , or any other work of art for that matter, they have to be adding something interesting otherwise it is just distracting noise. Either be knowledgable or funny.

Whenever I get stuck in a game and have to look up a game play video on You Tube the commentary is usually painful. Giant Bomb make it seem easy but their naturalness is a very difficult thing to do and to also be interesting.

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#28 Posted by Petiew (1413 posts) -

Let's Play's are all about the personality doing it. Aside from a couple of well known Youtubers, almost all of these videos turn out unwatchable for me.
It's hard to be consistently funny over a long series, especially if you have no one to bounce ideas or jokes off. Most of them are just filled with random awkward humour, the occassional scream or funny voice and laughing at their own jokes. There's also a problem in experience with the game. Either you're fumbling around trying to figure out the systems while you awkwardly try to fill dead air, or theres no entertainment because you've seen all of the story beats before.

Cut and edited videos again only work well for good personalities. The format for two best friends play works well because people are there to hear them joking about rather than watching the game unfold. Uncut, except for sections that turned out terrible is really the only way to go.

If there's no commentary you might as well just upload cutscenes or walkthroughs for specific quests, puzzles, items, etc. (I find these the best and most helpful videos)

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#29 Edited by Winternet (8372 posts) -

I don't know what a "Let's Play" video is. Never watched one.

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#30 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14358 posts) -

I want a guy with a smarmy british accent who names half his characters "Barry".

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#31 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2551 posts) -

The thing I look for is interesting commentary, but I really hate forced jokes and straying too far from the game. I know the Game Grumps are all the rage these days, and I do like some of their content, but I can't stand it when they barely even acknowledge that they are playing a game or try way too hard to "perform" by telling too many bad jokes and such.

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#32 Posted by Fattony12000 (8196 posts) -