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Things I Learned Making And Watching Let’s Plays
As I’ve mentioned more then once, I do Let’s Plays on my YouTube channel of games via emulators, downloadable games, and RPG maker games like The Witch’s House. I only have about 40 subscribers but I don’t plan on being some YouTube celebrity, and although I recently started monetizing my stuff I only really do it for fun. There are some things about Let’s Plays that you should know if you ever consider doing them yourself.
You need to have plenty to talk about, but not too much.
It’s one thing to give your commentary on a game as you play through it, but that’s only really possible if you already played through and it has to be informative AND entertaining to be good. Of course, you can do a Blind Let’s Play, where your commentary consists of your reactions to events in game and on screen. As long as you have something to talk about and can be entertaining about without distracting people from the actual gameplay, you’re good.
Being an introvert since a young age and only having learned to be more social and open in the last couple of years, I sometimes don’t have much to speak about during a Let’s Play. When doing one of Touhou Project 6: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, I didn’t have as much to talk about the game as I thought I would so I ended just singing along with the background music half the time.
If you have plenty to say and can be funny, then you’ll probably be a great LPer, that said, you need to know when to shut up as well. It’s great to have a lot to say during a puzzler, or a platformer, or a top down shooter, or a survival horror because those are usually pretty fast paced and even hectic, so the commentary adds to it, but during a slower paced, dramatic game it’s good idea to keep your mouth shut; when watching a Let’s Play of Heavy Rain I kept yelling at the screen for the player to shut up and to stop talking about stupid things, in other games he was funny and great to listen to, but he was being to ridiculous for me to properly enjoy the game.
You should have games ready ahead of time.
This seems obvious but if you do Let’s Plays you’ll find that they are actually much shorter and don’t produce as many videos as you’d expect. Most of my LPs are about 20 minutes long, and each game I do only takes about 6 videos to complete. I beat Ao Oni, Gex 3 and The Witch’s House in less then 2 hours, and I’ve been stuck on an obstacle in Mario Kaizo so I’ll probably have to discontinue it, I can’t get Ib and Schuld to work, and while I have entire archive of N64, NES and SNES games to play, but most of those games have already been played by anyone who would watch an LP of it, so I only LP ones I haven’t played before like Donkey Kong Country 2 and Shonan Ninja Sasuke, or ones that are short and sweet like Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Final Fight 3. The rest I just use as visuals for my Creepypasta and Fanfiction readings. I’m going to start a LP of Earthbound soon because I’m stuck on Mario Kaizo and I’ve never played it before, and while I do want to play it, an RPG is just to slow paced and long winded for me to LP so I only ever wanted to play on my own time, but it’s being requested and I have to think of my viewers so what choice do I have? And once it’s done I don’t know what I’ll play next.
Some viewers are stupid.
According to Sturgeons Law, 90 percent of everything is crap, including humans, but if you ask me it’s 99%. Now of course not everyone who watches Let’s Plays is a gamer themselves and there is nothing wrong about that, but some of them just don’t really know anything about the game they’re watching, take games with choices and multiple endings. For example; during a Let’s Play of Catherine the player got their karma meter in the red, got with Catherine and got the “Catherine true ending”. One of the viewers thought this was the games bad ending, because he didn’t get with Katherine and didn’t have the meter in the blue. He thought “Catherine=bad ending, Katherine= good ending” and that the meter decided it, when there is actually a good, bad and true ending for both girls and a bad and ture ending for neither and that the questions you enter in the final determine which girl you get and the meter determined which ending, and even though the player one of the three best endings he thought it was the bad one. Likewise, in a LP of The Witch’s House by a another LPer I like, several of the viewers thought he got the bad ending even though what he actually got was the “true ending”, otherwise known as the best possible ending even though it’s sad. Many viewers also like LPers for superficial reasons; one of the LPers I mentioned is liked by a huge majority of his female audience because his voice is sexy, another of the LPers I talked about is liked simply because he’s the Fred of Let’s Players.
Another issue is that if you make a Let’s Play of a game another popular LPer did, their fans will accuse you of copying them out of jealousy, even if you made your Let’s Play BEFORE they did. This goes with the 99% of people being crap; people are selective about everything and treat their personal feelings like objective facts, fans of LPers tend to think that their favorite Let’s Player is the best one and if anyone LPs the same game as them then their jealous and trying to copy them, some LPers make videos directly telling their viewers that hey hate this and their being stupid, and their fans do it anyway. This doesn’t have to do with making LPs, but with watching them.
Its infuriating to watch LPs of games you already played.
“It’s right there!”
“No, Don’t do that!”
“No, like that!”
‘NO! YOU IDIOT!”
If you ever watched your friend play a game that’s new to them that you’ve played for months, then I shouldn’t have to elaborate further.
My Youtube channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/woodenswordsamurai?feature=mhee and I will be doing a Let’s Play of either Earthbound for the SNES or the uninvited for the NES soon, please subscribe and like my videos in order to encourage my poor behavior.