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Started a series where I research and talk about the development of major games

Gamingtodaynews1f - Started a series where I research and talk about the development of major games

Hey all, I started a passion project back in July, a couple months after COVID started going full swing. I love video games, and I really loved learning about the creative motivations behind why certain decisions are made. Things like why some games give you a ton of moves and abilities right off the bat and take them away is because they want to encourage the player to stick with the game cause you saw what your character was capable of doing. Or that part of the reason Banjo was cuboid shaped in Nuts & Bolts was because the vehicle making interface was made with a grid-based block by block design to make it more accessible, so banjo was given a more blocky shape to match that. Or that the layout of arenas in DOOM 2016 have so many pillars and ledges and other objects to make it so there's almost no points where every enemy has a line of sight to shoot the player, making it possible to dodge and weave around those who can shoot at them and stay alive. All small pieces of a full cohesive experience that most people don't notice because they're not meant to be noticed, but when put under a magnifying glass are so fascinating. So many things about game design is so cool and hidden from the public eye and I wanted to research it and share it with people. (Because as it turns out doing research papers in college was also something I enjoyed, depending on the subject) Lastly, this was also a great chance to go and actually play through games I missed playing when I was younger as I only grew up with Nintendo consoles. Big important games like Half-Life, Spec Ops: The Line, Final Fantasy, and more.

So I started a series called Design of Play, where I have a list of games that are landmark or influential in one way or another. For good reasons, or bad reasons. (Because there's arguably more to learn from when something goes wrong) Also games that had a ton of hype and excitement for it, but it somehow just came out with a whimper (Like Bioshock 2) The one major restriction was I try to stick to games released after the year 2000. Before then, games were still fairly new as they had only fully embraced 3D just a few years earlier and it's kinda hard to find a game released before this year then that wasn't groundbreaking in some way. I do make exceptions for some games if they really are just that important (Like DOOM and Half-Life)

What I do is I play through those games on stream, then spend some time researching those games. (At first it was a week, but I expanded it to a few weeks. Depends on the game really) I research the history of the IP and the studio making it, the development of the game, the final product that is the actual game, I talk about the reception to the game, and what could be considered groundbreaking and/or influential. I also look at what games came out in a 6 month window before and after it's release (to get a snapshot of what games were coming out around the time to see what the climate of gaming was like then and what was "in") And if it's the first time I've played a game, I give my thoughts and opinions of the game. The most recent thing I started doing was putting "questions for the devs" at the end in hopes that one day this series catches on and actually catches the ears of some devs so that they can answer my questions. But then again, I guess the REAL optimal goal with this series is to have enough of a name for myself that I get a direct line to the devs and can ask them before the discussion.

All in all, these discussion are usually around 2 hours, some shorter some longer, and they all take place live on my Twitch stream where they're afterwards uploaded to YouTube. I do this for a few reasons.

  1. Fully editing a 2 hour video is a lot of work and a lot of time for someone who has no prior video editing experience. I am learning some new stuff here and there which is great, but that would be way too much as a first project.

  2. I like to imagine a lot of people who do like these videos will use them almost like podcast listening and not watch them intently the whole time. I do (as of recent episodes) use visual aides in my discussions, but I didn't want to make 2 hours long videos that would require people to intently watch the screen as well as listen to be able to follow. While live free-flowing talking can lack the compact form of information delivery a lot of other YouTube videos offer, makes it something that can be more casually listened to while multitasking.

  3. I want these to be discussions. I know I'm doing the bulk of the research and will be giving most of the information with these discussions, but I know I will miss info. I want to encourage people to be there and take part with the discussion so they can contribute their knowledge and expertise on a game.

I wanted to wait a bit before I started sharing this series with people online because I wanted to find some better footing with how I'd format these discussions, and I also wanted to have a decent catalog of videos to share in case people really do like this, there's not just 1 video to watch. With this 10th video there's just over 24 hours worth of videos now. The first videos are much rougher around the edges as I was figuring this stuff out, but the newer videos I think look much better. That being said I'm sure there's more that I can do to make these videos much cleaner quality and I'm hoping anyone here will gave some of these videos a watch and give some feedback. I'm new to this sort of thing so please help me make these better.

(I did just the other day learn about the ability to record audio in separate tracks in OBS, so all future videos I'll be able to mix in the background audio and balance it better than just on the fly like I do live which can lead to some parts being hard to hear.)

That's pretty much all I have to say. Hopefully this sounds interesting to you folks here and you'll give them a listen and give me some feedback. Below is a list of games I've done so far and links to those discussions.

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