Here is the first entry in the new video series. This one is more aimed at my mostly-dead YouTube channel, so it’s not going to be terribly interesting to read. For the first few videos I’m going to be playing things safe and sticking to familiar topics. I have some proper episodes planned for when we’re comfortable with the format.
Like I’ve mentioned before, this is a collaboration with my son Issac. He’s going to be doing the editing and animating and I’ll do the scripts and still images. We’ll see how it works.
Anyway, here’s the script for the video:
This Dumb Introduction
Hello there, The Internet. Do you remember those Reset Button videos I used to make? I know they look janky these days, but they were pretty good for the time. Anyway, if you’re one of the fives of people who subscribed to my channel hoping I’d make more of that kinda stuff, then I have good news. I’m doing that.
I’m going to change the branding a bit to fit with my other projects, but it’s going to be more or less the same style of content: Analysis of gameplay, game technology, story construction, and the gaming industry as a whole.
Why did it take me ten years to get around to making these things on a regular basis? Well, funny story about that.
See, I have basically three audiences:
- I have my YouTube channel where I post a video every six months or so. I have a couple of popular videos and one really viral one.
- I’ve also been a contributor to the Escapist for the last twelve years or so. My content there is currently on hiatus, but a lot of people from that site know me.
- And then there’s my main audience on my blog. Yes, blogs are still a thing in 2019. Oddly enough, this is actually my most popular work. The blog is where I do these super long-form retrospectives and analysis of older games. Also, I did that one webcomic that basically the entire internet read back in 2007.
So I have these three audiences. The problem is that they’re completely separate. People on the Escapist don’t want to click on off-site links, people on my blog don’t want to watch videos, and people on YouTube don’t want to watch anything that isn’t a video. So I’ve never been able to figure out a way to reach all three groups at the same time.
I’ve tried, but over the years I found I never had time for more than two of these three projects. The Escapist and the blog paid my bills, so that’s where I spent my effort, and my YouTube channel just sat here gathering dust. Even when I wasn’t getting demonitized, YouTube just wasn’t a good investment. For the time it took me to make the Do it Again Stupid video I could have written like six articles. Video editing is time consuming.
On the other hand, YouTube is where the people are. All my favorite creators are here. All the major gaming sites have some sort of YouTube presence. YouTube is where the publishers release their trailers, it’s where we react to trailers, it’s where people review games, and it’s where we go to watch people play games after release. It’s where we go for analysis and walkthroughs and tips.
YouTube an annoying platform run by an obnoxious company with the help of an oppressive mystery algorithm that uses a random number generator to enforce secret rules about what videos can be monetized. The recommendation system forces creators to spend 30 seconds of every video begging for likes and subscriptions so their hard work doesn’t vanish off the front page before people get a chance to see it. It’s a system plagued by copyright trolls. It has a Kafkaesqe claim system that punishes the accused before they can defend themselves and incentivizes frivolous claims, allowing wealthy corporations to skim money from independent creators like the mob shaking down local businesses. It’s a corporate dystopia. A sewer. A nightmare of injustice and frustration.
It’s also basically the center of gaming culture. That sucks, but that’s the way it is.
My hope is that by turning some of my content into videos, I can stay a tiny bit relevant in the YouTube space without sacrificing the long-form analysis that I like to do.
One last note: I like to remind people from time to time that I am not a journalist. I know the line gets pretty blurry here in the video game world and it’s not always easy to tell the reporting from the opining. It’s not my place to draw the line between the two, but I’m definitely the latter. I don’t review games in the sense of giving review scores, I don’t do consumer advice, I don’t investigate stories or report the news, and I’ve never been to J-school. I actually spent most of my career as a programmer and 3D artist. That was fun and interesting work, but game analysis is where my heart is and I’d like to keep doing this for as long as I can.
I’m a big believer in analyzing games in a holistic sense. I’m not one of those people who will overlook a garbage story because the gameplay is fun, or who ignores lackluster gameplay because I like what the game has to say. If the developer is going to spend millions of dollars making Hollywood-style cinematics then they should be willing to spend just a tiny bit more to hire a proper writer who knows how to tell a story. A game doesn’t need a story to be good, but if it does have a story, then it should be worth the audience’s time. A game with solid gameplay and a dumb story is fine, but it’s never as good as a solid game with a fantastic story. A game doesn’t need to have tacked on gameplay features, sidequests, item collection activities, and multiple romance options, but if a game does have those things then they should worth doing and integrate with the rest of the game not just exist to fill out a checklist of features.
So now you know where I’m coming from and what the plan is. I hope you’ll stick around for the content. The current plan is to release one of these every couple of weeks. We’ll see how that works out. If you’re interested, then, you know, do the like / subscribe thing.
Thanks for watching.
Like I said at the top, I realize this announcement video isn’t going to be particularly captivating to readers.
To be honest, I’m not even sure I can make this work. Video and text are different mediums with different strengths and weaknesses. In text, I can link to stuff to cite sources, and you can copy & paste text to quote me. That doesn’t work in video. In a video I can easily show off animations and gameplay, but in text I need to spend a couple of paragraphs explaining it. Video can show rapid images over narration, but if I put all those images into an article body it would make it a pain to read. Jokes that work in one medium often can’t be translated to the other.
I can use articles as a starting point for YouTube scripts, but it’s pretty obvious some adaptation will be required. The above text is direct from the video, but I don’t want to limit myself to this transcript-style approach. I think in the future the video will diverge from the article.
I don’t know. I’ll see if I can make it work. I hope you’ll be patient while we figure this out.
One final note: On Patreon, I announced that you can get your name in the credits as one of the reward tiers. It felt silly and self-important to list credits for this simple announcement video, treating it like a full video when it’s basically an announcement that the channel isn’t dead. So we didn’t do that this timeAlso, the Patreon system seems to only recognize backers after they’ve been billed. I assume that’s to prevent people from signing up for a reward and then cancelling again before they’re billed. I honestly wouldn’t care. I seriously doubt that would be a major concern in our case.. Next time will be the first real entry in the new series and that’s when we’ll be doing full proper credits.
Also, the Patreon reward system is apparently pretty obtuse. People keep getting confused because they want the $2 reward, but they want to give more than $2. They click on the “Name in the credits” reward tier, and it will LOWER their contribution to $2. Ridiculous!
This is the fault of the web designer. Someone is so enamored of their sexy layout that they’re willing to sacrifice usability. It looks like this:
It’s not obvious, but you can just change the number when you sign up. Before you hit “Confirm”, just click on the $2 and change it to whatever.
The problem is that there’s nothing to indicate the $2 is an edit field. For proper usability, it ought to look like this:
I realize that’s not as sexy, but sexiness shouldn’t be the top priority for a page designed to handle financial transactions.
Aside to PayPal: Everything I just said goes double for you. Your once-intuitive interface is now attractive and horrendously inconvenient.
Anyway, sorry for the confusion and hassle.
If all goes well, the first real entry of This Dumb Industry should go live on September 3rd or 4thI’m not sure if I want to go with Tuesdays or Wednesdays..
In the meantime, I’ll be posting more Steam Backlog, I have a programming series coming up, and a few other rando articles to fill things out.
 Also, the Patreon system seems to only recognize backers after they’ve been billed. I assume that’s to prevent people from signing up for a reward and then cancelling again before they’re billed. I honestly wouldn’t care. I seriously doubt that would be a major concern in our case.
 I’m not sure if I want to go with Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
The Terrible New Thing
Fidget spinners are ruining education! We need to... oh, never mind the fad is over. This is not the first time we've had a dumb moral panic.
The Best of 2016
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2016.
Was it a Hack?
A big chunk of the internet went down in October of 2016. What happened? Was it a hack?
The Witch Watch
My first REAL published book, about a guy who comes back from the dead due to a misunderstanding.
Video Compression Gone Wrong
How does image compression work, and why does it create those ugly spots all over some videos and not others?