About games and gaming thereof!


Podcast Ideas

So hey, you may remember me talking about making a podcast awhile ago. Something about me talking about games alongside my friends. If you’re wondering what happened to that whole idea, well, things got complicated.

Basically, we couldn’t find any free audio recording software that really worked for us. We’re a group of four, and so we needed to have four microphones plugged into one laptop. According to the tech geek of the group, who will henceforth be known as Rayzn (I’ll let you take a guess at his real name and heritage), Audacity was giving us trouble because of that. I said we could all connect to a Skype or Ventrilo room and talk from each of our own homes, but another one of us, RandomGuy (he likes his anonymity), wasn’t a fan of the idea. We tried to find other audio recording programs, but there was always a problem.

We started to get other ideas for what we could do. I think it was Galzzly (you may know him from the Let’s Play) who brought up the idea of recording video as well as audio, in that we would all talk while playing a multiplayer game together, but by then my friends were losing interest and stopped caring.

See, the thing about my circle of friends is that they talk about doing big, ambitious, exciting things, but they rarely ever actually do any of that stuff. For example, remember that post of mine forever ago where I briefly mentioned that my friends are designing a game? Yeah, that shit’s not happening. I’m fairly certain that they’re all open to the idea of doing a podcast, but I don’t know if any of them have any drive to work out the details. So it’s gradually become clear to me that if I want anything to actually happen, I’m going to have to figure all that out myself.

If any of you three are reading this (you know who you are), you’re welcome.

The four most prominent multiplayer games available to us are Minecraft, Team Fortress 2, Starcraft 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 (the last one being a bit iffy since RandomGuy doesn’t have it). I liked the idea of recording us playing Portal 2 once the user-made content starts getting churned out, but you can only play that with two players at most.

The way I see it, we have several options for how we can record these episodes, which go as such:

  1. Everyone gets on a Ventrilo or Skype channel and plays the selected game together. One of us records it on his computer, does a bit of post-editing, and then uploads the video. If it’s me, then I can post the videos right here on Ninja Game Den. If it’s someone else, then either I can give that person authorship status here or he can make another blog specifically for the podcast.
  2. We all get on Vent/Skype/whatever and play the game, and each of us records a video of it. Then we all give our videos to one person, who will splice them up and put the clips together so that you, the viewer, can see anything interesting going on, despite whose perspective it is. Considering we’re going to be using free video editing software like Windows Movie Maker (what I’m currently using for my LP, by the way) this is a lot tougher than it sounds. We can’t just put the four videos on a line and switch between which one shows at will. We would have to cut each video up into bite-sized chunks and then arrange all the little pieces on the slideshow in whatever way we see fit. This would require a ton of work per week, so much work that I figure it’s not even worth listing as a viable option unless we find a better free video editing program that would make the process much easier.
  3. We all get on vent/skype/blahblahblah and play the game, but the video is recorded by a fifth person playing as an “observer” who would watch what everyone is doing in order to get the best footage. This would work for some games but not others. It’d work like a charm in Starcraft 2, but in Team Fortress 2? Not so much. Not to mention the fact that it’d probably be hard to find someone with a strong enough boredom threshold to work for free as our cameraman.

So yeah, that’s all the options I see at the moment. #1 looks like the most elegant solution, though if anybody else has any ideas I’m open to them.

How’s it sound? Thoughts? Suggestions?


NGD Podcast 2: Enough purple rocks already!

This week I decided to get worked up about BIT.TRIP RUNNER.

This game made me think about how fragile the gaming experience is. They worked a lot over the visual design, sound design, level design and gameplay, and yet just a few bad design choices lead to me being frustrated beyond belief rather than entertained.

NGD Podcast 1: I suck at fighting games!

UPDATE: I deleted the video. Partially because it sucked, but mostly because of copyright laws and whatnot. Sorry.

I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast for awhile, and now is as good a time as any, so here goes.

I know that the quality sucks and that this podcast is very unprofessional and unrefined at the moment. I pretty much decided to do this on a whim, so bear with me.

I’m all for challenge in a game. My problem is that this is the easiest difficulty. This is something I’ve noticed about a lot of fighting games, and a lot of games in general.

I’ve been playing video games for most of my life, so I learn controls pretty quickly nowadays. So if I’m playing on the easiest difficulty of a game (a game that has more than 5 difficulty levels, no less) and I’m still getting my ass kicked match after match after match, I think it’s safe to say that they need to tone it down.

Anyway, let me know if you’d like me to continue making these videos. I might make it a weekly thing in addition to the weekly articles. Feedback and suggestions are also very much appreciated.

(EDIT: Also, I forgot to mention this until now, but I’m not sure why the video got cut off at the end. I’ll try to fix that problem if I run into it again.)