Discussion in 'Let Us Play: Fatbird vs. Dancing Gen. MacArthur' started by Matt Bowyer, Dec 11, 2012.
That page loads and scrolls okay for me now.
Excellent! Thank you for taking the time! Now if it'd just let me edit more than two posts in a row without clicking around I might actually make some progress...
EDIT: A certain post on page 8 refuses to let me tag it. The browser has frozen on two different PCs trying to do it. Everything else is tagged, but I can't really prevent this sort of thing. I hope it's fine as long as it's only once a page at worst. I really don't want to be the reason someone's browser crashes.
I started Visual Novel Darkness VS Light, Let's Play Girl With A Heart, however, thanks to real-life circumstances that makes it hard for me to play this game, it's currently on hiatus.
I've also recently started RPG This game is beautiful. Let's Play Odin Sphere.
Not sure how much I can contribute with considering the fact that I'm still much of a newbie when it comes to writing LPs, but I'll share my process anyway.
For Odin Sphere, I'll play the game through an emulator and then take screen-shots as I play, using Fraps.
I'll then batch re-size/edit the screen-shots I want and copy them into a word document, where I'll write my commentary and any text not in screen-shots from the game. That way I have the entire layout ready for when it's time to post. I usually try to be one draft/word document ahead of any updates in the actual thread.
Then I upload all images I want for an update to Imgur and identify and upload any music I need to Tindeck.
After that I just have to copy and insert the actual post.
I'm still learning, and so I welcome constructive criticism. If something is making you dislike my Lp and it's something i can change, I would like to know.
When it comes to reading let's plays I usually prefer playthroughs of games I know. Blind let's plays lets me see a new person's reactions to a game I like and Knowledgeable let's plays usually gives me something new to discover about the game. Not to mention the thread and any discussion about the game itself.
However, I will occasionally check out a let's play of a game I have no knowledge about. Usually the style and tone of the let's player is what makes me decide if I want to keep reading or not.
I'm not a big fan of summarizing, but depending on the game it might be necessary.
Just like others have said I'm not a fan of massive amounts of screen-shots in the same size. If the game has a lot of text/dialogue, you're gonna have to break up the screen-shots somehow. I'm trying to use portraits whenever possible, but you could simply write it out or if you feel like you need to, summarize.
And because of my completionist-nature I dislike whenever someone misses out on a majority of a game because of not looking around enough. It also annoys me when people forget that they've already checked/walked past the same room/box and keep checking it for several minutes. Those things are usually more in video let's plays though, so they're not really relevant for Broken Forum.
Aw, thanks for the name-drop on page 1, Matt!
I've written a couple of LPs, both off-site. Both are of story-less, or virtually story-less, games -- a trend I'll probably continue. While I enjoy reading well-written LPs in any genre, I don't really find it fun to screencap/summarise someone else's plot. I find it much more rewarding to write up the game's emergent narrative!
The first LP was a one-week blitz through FTL: Faster than Light. I think it shows that this was my first LP -- I'm not sure how well I conveyed the roller-coaster experience of playing the game. (For an example of someone who unquestionably did it right, check out the Rock, Paper, Shotgun LP of the game -- first post is at the bottom.) Still, on the whole I don't think I did too badly. I mostly wrote as I played (Word in one window, FTL in another), or else wrote soon afterwards, while the game was still fresh in my mind.
The second was a one-month-plus marathon through XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Classic Ironman difficulty. XCOM is one of those games that's superbly suited to an LP, I think -- the game revolves around distinct individual soldiers, and that gives the audience someone to cheer for. It also encourages audience participation by letting the player rename his/her soldiers -- I think half my Steam friends list ended up fighting the alien invasion!
Initially I went into a fair amount of detail as to how the game worked - first, to introduce readers who might not be familiar, and second, because my early decisions mattered a lot. Later on, I was a lot more willing to just focus on the highlights. In either case, I tried not to write about things going according to plan - that's just boring! Just as in a novel or film, reversal of expectations is key to a good LP.
Overall, I'm very happy with how this one turned out. I think that I did a pretty good job of presenting my characters' -- and XCOM's -- trials and tribulations. And because I addressed the mechanical aspects of gameplay in the LP, that allowed me to get away with an impressionistic final review that focused on how it felt to play the game. If someone wanted a more detailed look at the gameplay, they could always refer back to the LP.
This time I didn't simul-write, though I did take some notes with pen and paper. Sometimes it took me weeks to write up what I'd played! I found screenshots, and in particular video recordings (discussed in more detail below), invaluable in jogging my memory.
Nebty , you guys are in for a treat. :D
I also use Steam's built-in screenshot feature. However, since some games use F12, I remapped it to \ (which is also easier to reach when I'm in a hurry).
For video recording, I use Dxtory. Since the bread and butter of playing FTL consists of short (~2-3 minutes) battles, I would just upload selected battle recordings to Youtube and embed them in the LP as I progressed. XCOM battles are long enough for that not to be feasible, but the video recordings were still useful when it came time for me to write the LP.
True. I guess I don't value 'em as much because I've got likes coming out of my ears. ;)
Looking forward to it.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Matt mention me, and thus, I patted myself on the back for having come up with a memorable username.
However, I'm going to be putting the constantly-laughing idiotic joker aside for now since I wish to answer this seriously. (Also, thank you, Matt, for mentioning me: I was honestly pleasantly surprised to see that.)
Let me just summarize why I even started LPing: Everyone in this community made it look fun. It took me a while to make an account (and of course it would be the Hakuouki thread that successfully gave me the last push I needed to join the community: I tip my hat to you, Matt, you know how to write very enjoyable LPs) and then it took me even longer before I mustered up the courage to start my own LP. Now, this forum has become part of my daily routine. (This is kind of significant since most forums lose my interest after only a couple of weeks. Here, not only do I enjoy the content, I love the community. That includes all of the Sangry Grognards, too, even if I don't comment or like posts in your threads since I don't want to impose. Do know I read over quite a few of your threads, though.) At any rate, here I am now, glad that you guys were willing to welcome me despite my apparent idiocy. I don't get that often.
Right, let's get this show on the road, shall we? (Warning: This post is a WALL OF TEXT.)
How I screenshot the games I LP:
I am a stubborn moron, so I PrtSc almost every line of text, paste it in MS Paint, crop the screenshot, then save it. They're all saved numerically because it's easier to find them that way. This is as grueling and annoying as it sounds, since it hampers gameplay.
For games played on DeSmuMe (TMGS1 and TMGS2), I need to pause it every time I screenshot else it freezes for a splitsecond. For Heart No Kuni No Alice and The Pirate Mermaid, however, I can't pause them, so my computer lags instead and it grows frustrating. I'm willing to plow through that, though, since I don't really have any other method of doing it that I know of, and as stated before, I am ridiculously stubborn sometimes.
It would be easier if I would just find an alternate method of screenshotting the game, or if I'd at least transcribe some of the dialogue instead of screenshotting EVERYTHING, but until I find a better method, I'll stick to this. It doesn't get in the way of my enjoyment of the game (just in my will to garner the necessary screenshots to formulate my LPs), so I'm willing to put up with it.
What I've Written (And Am Currently Still Writing [Except For Road To Emerald]):
Let's Play Road To Emerald: Because we're off to see the Wizard! (consider it abandoned)
Let's Watch Randissimo suffer! TMGS1's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Routes (where I prove I'm insane)
Let's Watch Randissimo suffer some more! The romancing of Himeko and others from TMGS2. (I don't know what possessed me to think that style of LPing would be a good idea)
Let's Find Out how deep this rabbit hole goes! Heart No Kuni No Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~ (ATLAS hates my soul)
Pirates, Merfolk and Sorcerers, oh my! Let's Play The Pirate Mermaid's demo. (what can I say other than "PIRATES!" oh and it also has a parrot which is awesome)
How I write (for each individual thread) and method of LPing the game:
I don't consider myself to be the kind of person who has consistent writing. I mostly joke around, I snark, I write my genuine reaction to the scene, and slog through screenshots in an attempt to show what's important and cut off what's not, but I can tell I could do a better job. I'm bad at sorting out which screenshot is worth showing and which one I can just transcribe or summarize. I want to analyze scenes, sometimes, but I honestly feel that I'm just interrupting the LP when I do that, so I try saving it for end comments or in discussions after I posted the update because I love the discussions the people on this forum have. It also helps me organize my thoughts to have those kinds of conversations instead of me just rambling in the actual LP, but maybe if I ramble a little more, it would generate more discussion. I don't know.
I generally go through the game and screenshot as I'm playing it, save them all to a folder (I have seperate ones for each game under a general folder called Randissimo Plays), upload them to photobucket, and then I open a reply box on my LP thread and write the update as I go through the images. Generally, I'm good at remembering my reactions and emotions to a certain scene when the image that provoked it turns up. I don't think I'm particularly witty or clever or funny. In fact, I think I'm a total moron whose jokes fall flat, but sometimes I try anyway, not in the hopes to provoke a laugh, but because that was the thought that came to me with that scene, so I'll damn well share it. Terrible planning skills, I have those. Of course, this varies per LP thread.
Road To Emerald: Lord, but do I feel shame once I look over that thread. It was my first attempt at LPing something, and my complete lack of experience shines through so blindingly bright, it's painful to read over. I crack a funny comment here and there, but overall, I just end up rolling my eyes over how I handled this thread. I don't hate it forever or anything like that, since it did help me get an idea of how I should do and organize things, but I make many obvious mistakes with it. The size of the images, the image spam, the bad summarizing, the tasteless or stupid jokes I wouldn't just drop and the fact I wasn't really contributing anything to the game are all things I'm not happy with about that LP. So I'm dropping it. It's done.
TMGS1: I'm playing the most unpopular routes in the game. This is really what solidified my status as the LP Forum's crowned masochist, at least until Umazes stole my crown with her ATASHI NO RIRI thread. I was still crowned first, though, not that this is something I should be proud of. I have six routes to play through for this LP: The three crowned unwanted (Amanohashi, Hibiya and Goro), Morimura, Chiharu (the first secret character) and the FOREVER ALONE route.
Because this is the first time I'm playing the game, and through Amanohashi's route to boot (the ephebophilic principal, for anyone wondering), I'm literally only giving my general impression of the route so far. What I'm hoping to do the further I get within the game, though, is to analyze what works and what doesn't in each route, and if I agree with the general reaction everyone has of "THIS ROUTE SUCKS, AVOID AT ALL COST!" when the names "Amanohashi", "Hibiya" or "Goro" show up or if they grew on me and I ended up liking them. So far, I am really enjoying Goro (I'm serious, this is not a joke) and am looking forward to his route.
The reason I took this up? For Science, and because when I originally read the TV Tropes page, I figured I was better than everyone else and they were just being too harsh. (There's also the fact I tend to be considerably more flexible when it comes to suspending my disbelief and I have a tendency to like things a lot of people don't because I'm a hipster like that, I guess so I went "This is probably going to be one of those things I like that everyone doesn't". And in a way, it is, though not in the way I originally thought.)
At first, I was flailing around a lot, and I'm still doing that, but I think I have more of a method to it, now. I'm getting better at summarizing scenes that other people are going to cover (for example, a lot of the Fujii and Madoka scenes only get summaries and a couple of screenshots shown since Videet and Para are covering them respectfully) or because it's not really necessary to be shared outside of a brief mention. I'm showing almost all of the screenshots for Amanohashi events, however, since the original purpose of my thread was to allow people who don't want to play his route to experience it anyway, albeit through my ridiculous comments.
It's an interesting experience so far, and I do hope I improve my method of LPing it as I get through it.
TMGS2: I have a feeling this is going to turn out to be my favourite LP despite the fact actually writing it is painful and difficult. Because there weren't really any controversial main routes to cover in this game, I instead decided to go with the secret characters and Himeko. The thing that differentiates this LP from my TMGS1 LP, however, is that I'm doing it all in first person.
I have a character fleshed out to take the place of the Protagonist: Each route will have a different MC going through the works and the school years, all of them with a distinct personality. I have a general gameplan for the direction of each route I'll be playing through and I'm quite satisfied with them. Now if only I could be happy with what I write so I could actually post an update, that would be awesome. Like Hell I'm changing method, I like it. It's just challenging.
Heart No Kuni No Alice: It's going to be long, frustrating, and slow to update, but I will make it because this game is worth my time. Only problem is that I'm not satisfied with how I'm formatting the translated text, so I may eventually resort to simply changing the colour because bolding the text is annoying to read. I'm still snarking quite a bit, for now, but it's just the prologue: As the game progresses and I feel less like I'm going to accidentally spoil something, I'll start providing more meaningful commentary. For now, I'm staying ~mysterious~ and a snarky moron.
The Pirate Mermaid: This one is purely reactional because I am thoroughly enjoying this game, though I'm forming theories and opinions through both the LPed path and my own personal playthrough of it. I'll be leaving all of the options up to vote, however, since I'm interested in seeing how each forumite here thinks and their reasons for a particular vote. I want to see the direction the game will take based on the collective decisions made and the consequences that will have on each character and the plot. Considering the protagonist already has a pre-defined personality and each decision makes perfect sense with her character (depending on how you personally view her, of course), I don't mind which vote wins or lose.
Considering I'm just LPing the demo and all choices will eventually be chosen anyway (since I'm half using the LP as an excuse to go through the demo to provide legitimate feedback to the creators), the direction each playthrough takes will be an adventure. An interesting adventure. BrokenForum never lets me down when it comes to wielding interesting results in public votes.
Notes on my choices of games and other details:
I work best with games I particularly find interesting, or that I can "study". Even if I find a game particularly enjoyable or fun, if there's not much meat I can dig into in terms of analyzing it or making me think about things, well, I'm just going to dish out a mindless, uninteresting LP filled with bad jokes and snark and me flailing without really doing anything interesting.
For example: While Road To Emerald was fun, it didn't really do anything for me in terms of making me think. It was cute and fluffy and, frankly, it didn't really have much else to it. It's a fun iPhone game, don't get me wrong, and for the price of 2$-something, I got what I paid for and was happy with it. Outside of the fifty slots of memory space WHY WOULD I NEED THAT? But when I reread the thread, my LP was... Bland, idiotic, pointless, and didn't do anything for the game, in my opinion. Good exercise in terms of getting used to the LP format, yes, but overall, I'm dropping it because looking back on it now, I don't think I could salvage it.
Now, let's look at my TMGS1 thread. TokiMemo is a friendly stat-raising game. There isn't much in terms of content to making you think, but the game is still fun, the characters are... Interesting, to say the least, and it's pretty straight-forward in its method and gameplay. What makes this game and LP work for me, however, are the particular routes I'm doing. AMANOHASHI. HIBIYA. GORO. Shivers down your spine: Those three are, by far, the most unpopular routes in the game. (Followed by Morimura in the Western fandom for his terrible habit of bombing you, Hazuki for being boring to most people, and Chiharu because the shopping why so much shopping playing his route is boring augh he's not even as awesome as Jin why should effort be put in to get him?) I'm particularly interested in them, though, precisely because of that: I want to experience for myself why people don't like these routes and give them my own verdict. Not just that, but it's fascinating to analyze the possible intention that went behind a route and point out why it fell flat and how it could have been better handled. There's a lot of that when it comes to Amanohashi and Hibiya, especially, hence why they're the main focus of my LP.
TMGS2 has similar reasons as my TMGS1 thread, except most of the routes I'll end up playing aren't hated. (Except for one.) They're just... Not as popular, really. What makes this LP for me is how my protagonist is going to make it through. It's an exercise in writing, for me, since I want to see if I can build up narration in a believable and successful manner. I also wanted a different format than just me snarking all the time since I'm not particularly funny, and with the first person perspective, I feel like each route will be more personal and, hopefully, will make the route shine out more that way. Of course, that may just end up falling flat since I don't think my writing's all that great, but hopefully I'll have belieavable enough characterization for each protagonist to make it work. That, and I'm adding some content to suit my needs when necessary, so technically this LP is a fanfiction? I'm sorry. I'm still doing it, though.
Heart No Kuni No Alice is a game that will make you think. You go in expecting just another Alice In Wonderland type of adaption, but nope, QuinRose spun quite an interesting story with this. I can't say much since I'm scared to spoil the awesome, but there's a reason I'm doing the three routes I've decided on: Ace, Boris and the Truth End. I know my discussion thread for the game is dead right now, too, but I'm hoping it will pick up activity once I get further into the game and subjects of discussion crop up. And the theories. The game is very enjoyable, to boot, and I've been spoiled a great deal (all due to looking up CGs, reviews and fanfiction, along with discussions with people who played the full game) hence why a lot of what's happening I'm not commenting too much on (because SPOILERS and I don't want to spoil anyone), but once the ball starts rolling, I'll start speaking up more. Because this game really delivers. And then the Truth End punches you in the chest, grabs your heart, squeezes it, pulls it out of you, throws it on the ground, stomps on it, grinds it in the dust and the walks away with a triumphant smirk on its face while you stand there gaping and crying quietly. QuinRose isn't really known for giving its players happy Truth Endings to their games. Just a fair warning.
The Pirate Mermaid is an interesting case. The game has so much potential. Having finished one playthrough of the demo in my personal file, I am already choc full of theories I can't wait to discuss with everyone once we play through the demo. It's so exciting! This is a rare game that has succeeded in making me laugh almost every text box screen. Or yanked my heart strings. I'm just flailing and rambling and snarking for now, but I think it's working alright at the moment. Worst comes to worst, people get bored of the way I'm LPing the game and I'll alter my method. I'll probably start putting in more commentary, though, outside of that one line of theory about the crew mutineeing over not being fed. Which was kind of a no-brainer anyway. I'm legitimately excited over this game, though, and I really felt like sharing it, hence why I started that LP. Hopefully I'll do a good job of LPing it without screenshotting everything and by successfully explaining what actions are happening since the programming for this game goes beyond typical Renpy layout. I urge anyone who's interested in downloading the demo and playing it for themselves, though; the experience isn't the same without the music and actions and I don't have too much faith in my ability to properly convey the story.
What I like most about LPs I read on this forum:
The people. Really. You guys make the LPs for me. I would be willing to read every single LP in this forum if I had the time because I love how everyone has a different style and method of sharing the game and everyone's response to that LP. If it wasn't for the community, I wouldn't even have joined, Angie having awesome threads or not. You guys are all hilarious in your own way, you are willing to stay civil and polite even when you disagree with someone, the discussions and debates that are generated are fascinating and thought provoking and you have all introduced me to new games or changed my opinion on previous games I've played, generally for the best (unless that game sucked, in which case, you made it enjoyable due to snark and witty commentary).
That's really it. I'm not all too picky about the game or content of the LP, I adapt easily to everyone's style so I don't have much of a problem with that. If the content of the game bothers me too much, I'll just bail the thread (looking at you, Yandere thread and Sweet Pool thread) though without any ill feeling to anyone because it's the game that made me leave, not how the LPer wrote their LP or anyone else. Of course, I'm ridiculously easy to please, so it's definitely just a personality thing. I really do love talking to all of you, though. Anywhere else and I would have been long gone. I'm sorry I won't just leave. I love your company too much, BF.
What I dislike about LPs on this forum:
I'll admit the derails can get pretty out of hand. I look at my threads and cringe; what if someone decides to check out my thread for the first time, somehow enjoys it, and then gets turned off by all the unrelated commenting when they just want to read the LP? I personally love the discussions that are had in each thread, but generally only if they're related to the subject of the LP: The derail discussions that aren't related are still interesting, don't get me wrong, I love participating in those too, but there's really no place for that in an LP thread. I know I've participated numerous times in derails, and started some myself, but in retrospect, it's grossly annoying and can get in the way of someone's enjoyment of an LP, especially if the LP's done and it's someone new reading over it.
Other than that... Not much, really. That's really my only problem, and it's mostly derived from guilt after looking over my own LPs.
Although I guess I would prefer to see more reasoning behind each decision when a choice is put up to vote? I find it makes for interesting discussion. Just a thought.
Anything else of note that comes to my mind:
I'm going to end up copying
Hams of Wrath's method of linking the next update at the end of each LP post. I'll also be indexing each of my LPs once I finish a route to help facilitate any newcomer to my threads. I think that's the best thing to do, and hopefully, that will make things easier for them to naviguate my LPs. At least it gives everyone the option of skipping over the comments and potential derails if they're not interested in reading any of that.
I'm also probably going to start going over my updates more frequently instead of just "PLAY THROUGH GAME, SCREENSHOT, LOAD SCREENSHOTS, WRITE UPDATE WHILE CHOOSING APPROPRIATE SCREENSHOT, PREVIEW, READ OVER ONCE, POST". Because all of you guys have awesome methods of writing posts that work considerably better than what I'm doing.
Oh god, I feel so sorry for you guys who print screen everything. I just cannot even imagine doing that, wow. Let me share some screenshot programs with you!
I use Capturino whenever I want to only capture part of the screen. I don't use it for full-screen shots because they're often blurry, but it's very convenient and saves editing later for when you don't want a full-screen screenshot.
For fullscreen, I use Fraps for games that support it and ScreenHunter for games that don't.
In case anyone else is LPing while running Linux: I use Shutter, which has easy settings for capturing just a window (with or without the border) or the whole screen.
Also in case people weren't aware - and this is a fairly well-kept secret I guess - Windows 7 has a native way to do snipping:
The snipping tool is fantastic. It's also in Vista, if you're not running 7.
All too often, feedback comes in the form of gifs - squealing, adorable gifs -- but they are often in reaction to an event in the game. I can try to approximate what type of writing -- more reactionary, more narrative, etc. -- appeals and complements the game by the number of likes in each post, but more direct feedback would be extremely helpful.
Even a brief comment like "I want to hear more about how Tentacle-kun thinks!" or "All the honey puns!" would helpful. Not to give a free pass to slam an LPer's interpretation of the game ("I hate your stupid bad jokes about Mary and you should feel stupid!" is not just unhelpful but disrespectful), but honest criticism can improve or even salvage an otherwise unbearable LP (and not just for the reader, either!). Everyone may see a weakness in the LP, but if no one mentions it, the LPer will likely miss it entirely.
If you're uncomfortable posting a comment, don't forget that you can private message someone. If that will let you be more honest and straight forward about your critiques, do it. Really. A good LPer will be very thankful that you pointed out these points to improve upon.
I don't really have any long, elequent posts to make here, but since it hasn't been mentioned and there have been talk of places where LPs are hosted, I thought I would mention lparchive.org to those who are not familliar with it. It is an archive of LPs from Something Awful - but I can't say how complete it is as I've never actually visited the SA forums.
The site is nice however, if you feel like reading an LP with no outside comments at all since it only contains the original poster content.
I use that snipping tool, too!
That is genius.
Another thing that I've seen elsewhere is that the OP will keep a 'table of contents' in the first post updated, that links to all the later ones.
This a million times. Yet all three of the LPs I've worked on have been translations of Japanese otome games, oops. Well, I'm pretty sure I'm a huge do-M by this point, so I suppose it's not too surprising.
I read through the whole thread so my thoughts are kind of all over the place, but uh...
What I've Written
Disease, political intrigue, and hot men~ LP: Koezaru wa Akai Hana
Go go Red Ranger--I mean, Hotoken Red!? Let's Play Gakuen Tokkyuu Hotokenser!
Before the Shinsengumi, there were DEMONS! Let's Play Toki no Kizuna
How I Write
I don't do blind LPs. I have the attention span of a goldfish and cannot force myself to play something that I have no interest in, so I'd hate to get partway into a game and lose interest. I choose games I want to LP because I really like them (or they are unique) and want to share them with people who wouldn't really get a chance to experience the game otherwise. I want to discuss the game with people and make it more accessible.
Sadly, as said in that paragraph I quoted, translating the game as I LP it means I don't have a whole lot of room for commentary and a lot of times I'm hesitant on whether I should say things because I'm worried I might inadvertently spoil something by accident. I do comment on the story and dialogue and whatnot, of course, but probably a lot less than other LPers do and, of course, I'm not very funny, either. I don't really try to be because I know it'd just be a lost cause. XD
When I'm in an LPing mood, I open up my game and go through it. I take a screenshot when it's something I know I'll want to post, and I translate the game line by line. If there's a scene where the dialogue isn't really all that important, I summarize it or paraphrase it, but I do end up leaving about... 75-80% of the dialogue intact because I sort of forget not to. When I can, I try to include info on the voice-acting, the music, some cultural/historical stuff (really big in my Toki no Kizuna thread), etc. So when I make a post, it's right after I've finished translating that last line. I don't play through a whole chunk and then LP it in bits... I translate and post as I go through the game.
Regarding translating, I do my best to take my time and make sure that the translation is true to the spirit of the character/setting/game rather than making it a literal translation. If I'm translating a polite character's lines, I have them come across differently with their tone. I try to keep double meanings and metaphors intact. I do agonize over phrasing sometimes... Reading my translation means the reader doesn't get the benefit of hearing the voicing, hearing the delivery--so I have to try to communicate intent, tone, and mood through my translation as best I can... It's really tough and there's nothing more frustrating than people misunderstanding something because my translation wasn't clear enough. x_x I try not to let too many of those moments happen. (also I'm a ridiculously sad perfectionist)
Toki no Kizuna is a bit different since I have to take caps from the game and then transfer them to my computer... For TnK, I take caps from a whole scene or two, stop and translate it all, post the translation plus my commentary in the LP thread, then go back to the game and rinse and repeat if I feel like it.
My speed of updating kind of fluctuates... At times I don't post anything for some days to some weeks, or I post like 10 updates in a day (or more). Kind of random. I usually have to take a break between really serious scenes or when I know the next scene is unpleasant and will probably get some backlash. I know that the people reading the thread aren't mad at me, but at the story/characters/how things are going, but still. XD
Basically, I approach my LP as me sharing these stories with people and so I try to do my best to give them enough information that they get everything that's going on and can share the experience with me.
For Toki no Kizuna, because I was able to access rips of the game UI, backgrounds, etc., I chose to edit the screenshots and put my translation there. That makes it a lot easier for me to comment and explain than in my Koezaru LP, where usually screenshots are followed by large chunks of dialogue translations.
......but nobody's really complained about my format one way or the other, so I figure I must be doing something right. (then again people who don't like my LPs probably just don't bother saying anything, so)
Things I Like About Let's Plays
While I don't like doing blind LPs myself, it's because I know myself too well. On the flip-side, I love reading an LP of a game I've played, but the LPer (or most people in the thread) has not. The Black Wolves Saga LP kills me and I love reading everyone's reactions. (: Same with the Diabolik Lovers thread. Since I'm a part of the Japanese otome game fandom, I'm used to interacting with a certain group of people online day in and day out. The people at Brokenforum are completely different from the crowd that I'm used to, though, so it's interesting reading new perspectives and getting to discuss these games with other people--people who may not necessarily be huge otoge fans. It's like I get to leave my bubble for a little bit and I love it.
Things I Don't Like About Let's Plays
Too many derails (as in more than one page), too many screenshots--especially from a visual novel. I really don't need to see a screenshot of every single line of dialogue. That's really about it.
I really like how you put the translations in the screenshots for Toki no Kizuna. It looks neat and makes things easier to follow.
When there's lots of text, I find it easier to follow if there's character portraits or something with each line. Partly because I'm embarrassingly terrible with names, and seeing a long, script-format transcription makes me pause for a minute to go, "OK, whose face is this supposed to be?"
I don't feel very qualified to be writing this post considering that I do many of things that people dislike on this site but I just wanted to bring a different (though perhaps, unshared) perspective.
First off: Almost everything I participate in or read on the internet is for fluffy entertainment. Just keep that in mind.
I have had quite an amount of LPs on this site. An embarrassing amount for the amount of care an consideration I put in compared to other forum-goers on this site.
-Game and a page open in BrokenForum open at the same time
-Play game, screenshot where seemingly necessary, mark a space for screenshot with a few words to help distinguish between shots (typically a few words from the shot), commentary
-ex. [girl blender]
I would put a joke involving penguins or zebras and colors here but that is somewhat inappropriate.
-Load pictures into imgur, replace brackets with code
-Check all images uploaded correctly
I've mostly do commentary and experiment(ed) with narrative.
Notes in General:
I enjoy humor in an LP. I'll read whatever interests me or if the LP is written by someone whose other works I enjoy. I don't care much about the style as long as it is entertaining, which is why I dislike minimalistic commentary such as Cry's Hatoful playthrough (or what I have seen of it). Pure reaction for commentary can be used for a, as Anabanana said earlier, book club style but I think the form that LPs are in on this site is more suited for the commentary version. Youtube is great for plain playthroughs since video allows for better immersion. If I just wanted to experience the game, I would play the game myself unless circumstances prevented it. The occasional chuckles and wtf-ing make me smile at first as I recall my own experiences with the game but I grow bored of it soon enough. I don't think a writer needs to insert a piece of their soul into a work making it distinctly theirs. Minimum is something to amuse the person and the readers and one of the higher levels is causing emotions on wide spread scales (ex. Hakuouki LPs, pretty much anything by Angie).
Furthermore on narratives: this is usually accepted if the self-insert in the game lacks presence, very common in the otome games that are popular on this site. A good example is Ozzo's Ib LP. The main character doesn't have any lines in the game so his added bits improve the game and story. Same to Jvii with her Persona LP.
Something I just wanted to ask:
Anabanana, you linked to an LP of Magical Diary on page 1 as an example of bad narrative but it seems like they were just quoting the game? I haven't played the game myself and I just read about half a page from 2-3 chapters. From what I remember of @Soli-chan's thread (summoning so that she may provide some light on the situation as well), the first chapter, at least, is in-game script. So, I don't think they were improvising, and I didn't see any comments within the LP that ridiculed the game.
They're transcribing the in-game script, but modifying it and adding lines in a way that "makes the story more interesting", or at least what the LPer considers interesting.
It's not particularly creative or funny or well-written, and most importantly it bothers me because it's incredibly vague which parts are the original script and which parts are the LPer's additions, and it's indistinguishable if you haven't played the game before. This in particular really pisses me off because I like this game, and I wanted to see people react to the game itself, not some amateur retelling of it.
As for the LPer ridiculing the game, I wouldn't call it ridicule, but mostly this:
Implying that the story isn't interesting or well-written enough without a little spicing up and editing from the LPer. This isn't the same as taking a blank protagonist and adding your own thoughts. The LPer is taking an already established character and editing the story itself because they think that their writing is better than the story they're LPing. Boasting about their journalism degree is just the icing on the douchebag cake.
Ugh, yeah, I saw that LP a while ago and thought the exact same thing. It's one thing to add a narrative to something like Pokémon or Animal Crossing which doesn't have much story to begin with, but when there's already a strong narrative there and you're just changing it for no reason? And not even making it clear what's yours and what's the game? Especially when your writing is so much worse, and then saying you're just trying to improve it?
Not to mention that this is pretty much the only contact the readers are going to have with the game, since Visual Novels aren't really SA's thing. It'd be a little more acceptable on the official forums where it'd obviously be a fanfic sort of thing, but this is just blatant misrepresentation of the game.
Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I would leave a few comments about why that's rude but you already covered them.
That's why I was really surprised when I saw kethyveris's Hakuoki LP going off without a hitch, since SA is a crowd that generally equates people who like anime romance to pedophiles and creeps. There have been a few good VN LPs going on there though, the most successful one of which is obviously the Dangan Ronpa LP and more recently its sequel, Super Dangan Ronpa 2 (it went gold within the first two updates, which really does not surprise me at all). Other than that, I remember there being a completed Ever17 one, a Steins;Gate one that's on-going, and the Umineko one which is going reaaally slow at the moment (don't blame the OP though, it's a looong game). There's also a completed Animamundi LP, but you need to buy archives access to see it, and all its images are broken, apparently. I'm still considering getting the archives upgrade to see it though, cause I'm really interested in seeing how the SA community reacted to it, being all gothic and BL and all.
EDIT: Oh, and how could I forget? There's an AMAZING Ace Attorney LP going on there right now with great fanart and fun discussions from the participants. For example, did you realize that the Employees Area in case 1-3 was actually outdoors? NEITHER DID I UNTIL I READ THIS LP.
(after finally managing to GET the windows task manager to actually run so I can shut down the runaway trainwreck and fire up backup browsers)
... it would seem that having enough updates on a page, spoiler or no-spoiler, still completely screws up firefox for me. I now have no idea if spoilering helps at all. I apologise for giving bad advice. (Well, that one page you linked to DID work! And I was managing to read the latest few updates of your LP... until this last batch, when it just plain exploded.)
... Alternately, it was all Anders' fault.
Very apropos, guess what's the latest update currently up is. Goddamnit, Anders...
I'm sorry to hear it. It does solve my own recurring problem with the browser locking up and images going blank, but it's annoying it's not a full fix and I'm definitely sorry it doesn't help for the people who already had problems with it all the time :/
But thank you for keeping tabs on it and reporting back after testing fixes. I appreciate the effort that goes into that,
Oh, this thread is very interesting! First of all, since someone mentioned window's snipping tool, where the heck I can download it? °° I can't find any download button on the site tha has been linked.
But anyway, up until now I only made two LP:
Where I chase guys while listening to classical music: Let's Play La Corda d'Oro
Check your Horoscope: We're going to play Starry☆Sky - In spring
LPing for me is a challenge, because I'm not a native english speaker so I'm not always able to convey what I think. I take LP with responsability and I won't start a new one if I didn't already think that I'll finish it.
How I write
Starry sky was my first LP, so I had to adjust to the LP format, finding the good proportion between screenshot and written text. I tended to summarize the dialogues between screeshot because the game had so much of unnecessary sentences... they kept repeteating the same things with just different words. La Corda d'Oro was a bit of a failure, because I thought I'd be able to understand it even if I can just recognize a few japanese words, I also whined I bit there because I received so little feedback, but I understand if my LP wasn't that much interesting :°
About my style... well, I don't have a style, actually. I usually write the LP at the same moment that I'm playing, taking a few screenshot then pausing the game, writing the LP and my commentary while the pictures are uploading, and then post. Usually my comment and reactions are fresh, I actually write them while placing the screenshot in the post. I usually don't try to force jokes in the commentary, because you can notice when a joke is forced... so yeah, If you read my jokes that's actually what first came into my mind. I'm that stupid :P
Things I like of Let's Plays
Definitely the commentary of the LPer and people's reaction... I'm an avid player and I usually play games myself, so I tend to stick into topic of games I already played or I don't have any intention of actually play. That's also why I actually partecipate in a very few topic... that's a bit sad sometimes, because for example I'd liked to join the Corpse Party LP that was so popular but I want to play that game one day and I don't want spoilers XD
I love when the LPer uses a lot of humor, and If I have to name someone, I admit that I wholesomely love
Donmai, whenever I see a new LP made by her I already know it will be very fun XD
Also, I want to state how much is important the feedback from the other user, when you start an LP. As many of you already said, LPing takes hours just for un update, and it can be very tiring for the one that is doing it... personally the people's comments are what motivate me. I agree that LPing in the end is a performace, you have to entertain and the other people have to show how much they're having fun.
Things I don't like of Let's Plays
Maybe I'll be unpopular for expressing this opinion, but I actually think that recently too many LP are being started without people considering if they really want to that LP until the end. There's so many LP that even the recently updated ones go to the second page in a matter of hours °_° It's also sad for a user to be interested in a LP of a game he didn't play, and then LP is abandoned and you want to know how the story continue :(
I just wish people that are going to start a LP would ask themselves "Am I really going to do this, stick until the end? Updating will take hours of my free time, am I willing to do it?" etc.
Also, about the style of LP, I prefer more screenshots and less writing, whenever I see a post with a wall of text my minds tend to go "tl;dr", there's no need in my opinion to tell everything that happens in the story, if it's not that relevant.
I agree with this. I mean, I understand if you start something and then just aren't feeling it, or real life happens, or whatever. But there's a whole bunch of LPs that are like, one or two updates and then nothing. Unless you're taking a vote right at the start (for what route to take or whatever), I feel like you should have at least two or three updates completely written before you make the first post.
in most cases, though, this might motivate people to go buy the game, which is a good thing? Doesn't work in cases where the game is now impossible to obtain or untranslated though
Apart from two posts hovering over youtube videos I couldn't temporarily remove, thus blocking the 'edit' button, every single post of every single page in the DA2 LP is now tagged. I know it doesn't solve every problem, but I just wanted to really recommend the solution if you're planning an LP which will consist of many and relatively large images. It makes the page a lot faster to load and scroll, and you forego the issue some slower browsers (my laptop one included) can have with loading the images at all.
Granted, I am writing the damn thing, so you'd have to ask the readers if it's inconvenient or not. I just wanted to put it out there as a empirical support for Ingmar's suggestion earlier.
If you're running Windows 7, you already have it. Start -> Run -> SnippingTool.exe
Yeah, I agree with this, although I do understand that people often have very valid reasons for discontinuing an LP. It was a little disappointing when I was reading through the oldest threads of the LP forum and I'd reach the end of an old, old LP only to realise it was never completed. I even started avoiding some of the shorter threads for that reason to try to avoid disappointment. And I think multiple LPs are ok as long as people take responsibility for them and keep them regularly updated (and it doesn't matter whether it's once a day, once a week or once a month), but I still think I'd prefer it people did no more than 2 LPs at a time. It feels a bit chaotic, otherwise. In saying that, I am by no means unhappy with the way things are currently going. And I'm grateful to all the people who ever put their time and effort into writing an LP (even some of the unfinished ones).
Found it, thanks :D LPing will be much easier from now on
(Really Windows, why make such a useful tool so obscure?)
I haven't written an LP and I most likely never will. Not doing something before has never stopped me from giving my opinion on anything, and never will. Neener, neener, neener.
For starters, I really like Angie's LPs. She knows how to write a concise LP that makes me want to play the games she's LPing. A friend of mine gave me links to her LPs here and on Quarter to Three, and that's mainly why I made an account here. I think the only games that I have no interest in playing myself that she LPed were Hatoful Boyfriend (I think this is because I read both the one here and the one on Quarter to Three, and the two of them together cover far too much of the game) and a game that I think was based on Jane Austen (I can't stand Jane Austen).
For TMGS1, she stuck to telling about the experience of dating Mihara in the game and that was mostly it. I loved her commentary on the various aspects of the experience of doing his route. What she does that I absolutely love that I don't see anyone else doing is she mostly gives only the important events in the game and doesn't tell you everything she's doing. I prefer using game guides or walkthroughs for that. I don't need to hear how you're building your stats, I don't need to hear your strategies, I don't need to hear about all of your run ins with other characters from the game whose path you aren't on, I don't need to see every single bit of dialogue from every single character, even Man #1 or Whatsit Overthere. I didn't mind her including Amanohashi, since her commentary was funny and she was able to fit it into the context of her LP, and it also didn't dominate much more than a post with a screenshot or two.
What I'm trying to say is twofold: Less is more, and learn to edit your work. No one's going to tell you either one is easy to do, so don't expect me to. I just feel like people who write LPs here have diahrrea of the keyboard/screenshot editing software, and that they're trying too hard to be funny or witty on top of that. For god's sake, just be yourself, it might actually work out to be fine. I don't get the feeling from Angie's LPs that she's intentionally trying to be funny, I get the feeling that she's like that in real life, too.
I could understand wanting to be a completionist with a game that's no longer being sold or is on a gaming system that will soon be put on display in a museum, but it seems to me (by skimming the titles) that quite a few LPs are written for games that are commercially available. I don't think those LPs should be completionistic at all shit is that even a word? maybe not. I would think that if you really loved a game you would want other people to buy it and support the game makers and translators, which would make them realize that, holy shit, there are people that are willing to play these games, so why don't we translate some more of them? I have nothing against fan translators, but sometimes the work is so poorly done I can't understand the narrative or dialogue at all, and that just totally breaks my immersion in the game itself. And if you have a fluent but strange translator, you get unintentionally funny lines of dialogue like "You spoony bard!" popping up in your game.
Some LPs seem to be started with the intention in mind of "I'm gonna make myself popular!" and not any concern about the game being LPed. Seriously, if this is the only reason to start an LP, not only is it a stupid one, chances are good that if said popularity doesn't materialize, the LPer isn't going to finish the LP. On the flip side, the LP can most certainly end up sucking because the person's love of their own ego outshines their love of the game. I never felt this way with Angie's LPs and I wonder why she hasn't made any more of them.
As far as thread derailment is concerned, if an LP is finished, I tend to skip over it if it's not relevant to the game. Since it's your thread, you can encourage it all you want to, but in the end it doesn't help me much to have to sit through loading an entire page of spider images or your latest whining about your personal problems, and I'm probably not the only person that feels this way.
That's just my two cents. Whether I have more to say later is most likely irrelevant at this point.
From your post, I get the sense that you're primarily reading LPs of visual novels/dating games -- do you have any thoughts on stat-building analysis and strategy in an LP of a game where those take a larger role, like a turn-based RPG or an RTS? Do you want to see more analysis from the LPer for these types of games, or would you rather still see a story focus?
Oh hey I was tagged here? Okay. Yay. Erm.
Alrighty, walls and walls and walls of text!
What I've Written
Let's Play Frozen Essence (no way this can go wrong!), Let's play Hired Gun, a very happy game!, Let's play Hired Gun 2 (WELCOME TO DIE), Let's Play Synchronicity! Never enough pretty boys never, Let's Play Meine Liebe! (By the way, what am I doing?), Let's Play My Boyfriend! (It's... a dating game?... I think?), Let's Play Super Scribblenauts! (adventureeee eeee~), Let's Play a BxB game this time! I Love You, Brother! <3, GOD I LOVE POKEMON (FireRed~ ... I think~...), and ongoing Let's Play Dream Saviour Gakuen! (gaussian guys everywhere) andLet's Play FFTA! (there's no place like home~).
I might have a problem.
How I Write
I'm glad some people think I'm funny! I don't have an organized method. It's just "Take screenshots of the game. Upload the screenshots. Write words." Writing on the seat of your pants is generally not good practice, but I'm doing this all for my own amusement, so I let myself slide. The nice part is that with all that practice writing words, I've noticed the weak points in my humor. I rely heavily on referential humor, which is disastrous for people who aren't from the same culture, or absurd nonsequiturs, which are disastrous to people who like to keep their brain on while they're cruising the internet, or gifs, which can be fairly amusing in moderation but otherwise just seem to be relying on stock pictures to convey your feelings. Running gags are also pretty difficult to keep going, because I'm not sure when something stops being funny and starts being overdone. And on top of that, most of my jokes are observational, relying entirely on the game, which is fine considering it's a Let's Play and all but then when I play an average game I have poor commentary (see: Synchronicity).
I have a long way to go before I can consider my sense of humor satisfactory.
And then there's the difference between the games I LP because I want to share my commentary (Hired Gun, My Boyfriend, FFTA) and the games I LP because I want people to know the games exist (everything else). Now that this subforum exists, I'll stop LPing the latter category. But anyway, based on individual LPs, Frozen Essence was my first one, when I was just getting used to it, and even though my first comment was "HEY GUYS AM I POPULAR NOW" I honestly just wanted to spread the love for one of my favorite games, and this place sure did look like one of the most intelligent communities that talked about otome games. That's why I went crazy on the number of screenshots: Out of fear of misrepresenting the game. I think this quote would describe the problems with my early LPs pretty well:
Hired Gun, I had a lot of fun with, though in hindsight the flow wasn't very good, and not just because the game was poorly-written to begin with, and I still shake my head at my own humor... Same problem with Synchronicity... and Meine Liebe didn't have enough commentary, I think, on the second and third playthroughs. Then it was just listing the events and the event scripts and occasionally going "Oh. Okay." I see now that stat-raising simulators are not my forte. I think My Boyfriend was nice, though, but donmai.quality = abs(game.quality) so it'd be pretty hard for me to not entertain with such an awful game. Same idea with I Love You, Brother, since my first reaction after finishing the game on my own was "Mother of god, I must let everyone else know of this masterpiece." Pokemon Creepy Black, too, since I found out it existed and remembered that Broken Forum had a bit of a Pokemon fad going on so I thought "Must share" but that was a crushing disappointment. Surprised by how well Dream Savior Gakuen is doing compared to FFTA and guessing this means I'm not ready to write my own characters yet. Hm.
Things I Like About Let's Plays
I like nice games.
That's about it.
If it's a game that I am interested in playing or a game that I have played or a game that grabs my attention in any way, I will read it. If the commentary is not my taste, I will skip the commentary and just keep reading.
I have incredibly low standards when it comes to entertainment.
Things I Don't Like About Let's Plays
Yeah, I'm not a fan of unfinished Let's Plays, either says the person who ditched Pokemon
I think that's it.
Of course I write gigantic paragraphs when talking about myself and then short, curt sentences when writing about others... Haaaa... Such a teenager...
Okay, now back to being a good and quiet little girl. -lurks-
re: stat building, i appreciate if that gets a mention; if just because it gives me a better idea of the protagonist, what's their strength and weaknesses in that particular playthrough. How they develop and change over time. It helps them to become less of amorphous eyeless blob equipped with nothing but denseness rivalling that of black holes.
That's what I've started with, sure, but I am reading at least one LP of a game that is an RPG and quite frankly, I find myself skimming over the posts in it that have to do with how to defeat the bosses in each area. It's boring as hell, and I can get all of that from a walkthrough.
A walkthrough will also tell me what stats I need to have for my RPG character as well. Of course, since it's all opinion, I usually read several different walkthrough sections on a game to see if they all agree on something. And if they do, then I'm more likely to give that stat a boost because it affects a significant part of gameplay. If it doesn't , and it's all opinion, then I'd much rather experiment on my own, even if that means restarting the game ten or twenty times until I find a character build that I'm happy with. As far as I'm concerned, it's part of the fun.
Which is the whole problem with so many of these LPs. People don't give a shit about their audience. Oh, I've seen a few people ask their audience for specific input on certain things, like a very narrow format focus ("Do you prefer big pictures or small?"), but most don't want to hear criticism of how they can make their LP better, and far too many people in the LP forum are more interested in kissing each others' asses than being honest. But then again, I do know that this is what I should expect from a bunch of teenager-to-20-somethings. That's probably why Angie's LPs are so different, she's older. I just think it's hilarous that so many people hold her up as their golden standard and then proceed to do the opposite of what she does instead of trying to see what she does RIGHT and incorporate it into their LPs.
But of course I'm already aware of the fact that I'm talking to walls, you people aren't exactly a caring bunch, as I noted from one of the first posts I made here. Since sarcasm is the way you greet a person's pain, then I already know to expect ridicule for anything else I post.
Excuse me? The whole purpose of this thread is sharing our "modus operandi" of LPing and discuss about how to get better, so why are you accusing us to not listen?
It's true that some LPer have some faults, and some topic could me made better, but it seems like you're treating a person that start a LP like some sort of professional that is there only for the amusing of the audience. You know we are not paid to make LP, right? And we spend a lot of our free time to keep them update. It's a tiring work, so what's wrong with the fact that the LPer wants to write in an amusing way to be entertained himself, even if it's not the best course of action?
We are here to discuss how to improve the experience of LPing, it's not like we're setting rules and "If your LP doesn't follow the rules GTFO". What I love of the LP sub-forum section is that we kind of all love each other, we live in a relaxed way and don't start flame for every single thing. That's a rare accomplishment in the internet nowdays.
Lunar, I don't think the level of bitterness that you've expressed with your post is deserved. By all means, give people constructive criticism on how to improve their LPing style. However, saying things like, " I do know that this is what I should expect from a bunch of teenager-to-20-somethings", is just being inflammatory.
Also, I get the feeling that this is, in part, a reaction to some perceived slight that you've experienced on the forum at large. If so, please keep it out of this thread.
Ah, yes, because vaguebooking about how humanity has failed you and then whining about us not understanding your PAAAAIINNN in a completely unrelated thread is the pinnacle of maturity. Not like us silly under-30 LPers, obviously.
Hey, man, the people in that thread tried to cheer you up and help you. If you don't want it, fine, but please don't attack us here to vent or something.
But I guess responding like this isn't going to solve anything, so.
Many people who read this LPs do not have the game, and are very likely not going to play it. Personally, I am not a RTS player. I'm terrible at the games. I do, however, like them, and so explanations of what stats do and how do accomplish things is very useful. Throwing the screenshots at me and expecting me to Google and read a walkthrough for a game that I will never play is not helpful, and I will give up reading if I am expected to do research throughout the LP.
How many have you seen that don't accept the criticism they're given? Most people do not go into threads and actively criticize the LP, but if somebody suggests that the LPer do things differently, they usually do. Also, it's not kissing ass, it's being friendly. This is not a workplace, or a school where our LPs are being critically evaluated. This is not a website devoted to perfecting the art of LPing. This is a forum where a bunch of people are playing games for others to enjoy with them, and that is exactly what we are doing.
It's nice to know that you judge the entire forum based on one person's response, out of the many who tried to give you advice.
EDIT: I didn't really mean to take such an aggressive tone, but I guess your comments upset me more than I realized. Sorry.
Separate names with a comma.