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Let's Plays, Guides and Reviews Want to showcase yourself playing a game? Want to write a guide on how to beat the hardest levels of a game? Or maybe you want to give your review of a game you have? If so, this is the place for you!

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  #1    
Old December 16th, 2013 (03:31 PM). Edited March 24th, 2014 by ShadowE.
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Dragon
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Kou Empire
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest

Let's Plays, Guides and Reviews Rules & Guidelines


Welcome! This forum will house any and all games you want to show yourself playing, any guides on how to beat a game, and your opinions on a game! This area has been in some demand as of late, so we're giving this a run and seeing how it goes!

If you're unfamiliar with what a Let's Play is, it's generally someone recording/writing/taking snapshots of themselves playing through a game while adding commentary of some sort along with it. This commentary can be funny, random, relevant, or whatever pops up as you're playing. While some of you may have video recording capabilities, the majority of you may be screenshot posters or just write for all that happened. Examples are located here, if you are confused as to what a written/screenshot Let's Play might be.

General Rules


  • Follow the forum-wide rules!
  • A certain amount of off-topic chatter is to be expected in these sort of threads, but try to keep it marginally linked with the subject matter.
  • All thread topics will be viewed and checked for quality. This means that your grammar, punctuation and spelling is important! Neatness is preferred, also!

Rules for Let's Plays


  • First and foremost, if you are posting a video Let's Play you are starting. You may NOT advertise your YouTube channel. You must post your videos as they are uploaded to YouTube and I will be dilligent on checking whether this is the case. You may not simply post in your thread to announce a new video is up. Post the video here. Don't link it! You may ask for people to "thumbs up" the video, but if the majority of your posting is asking for more thumbs ups or views, it may be subject to closing.
  • If your written/screenshot Let's Play consists of very short updates constantly, it may be considered spamming to get +1 to your post count! Avoid posting these small updates frequently, if possible.
  • ONLY thread creators are permitted to revive their threads if it is past the expiration date of two months. Everyone else must abide by the general community rules.
  • If your images/videos contain violent-natured things, add a rating to your thread title! Ratings should be what the game being played is rated. Games with Adults Only [AO] ratings are not allowed!
    - [Rated M]
    - [Rated T]
  • You may post Let's Plays of console games, computer games or hacks you've downloaded! We encourage any and all types of gaming to be showcased here! (This doesn't include games like Minesweeper or Solitaire)
  • Excessive swearing is not allowed. I understand if it slips here and there which is fine, but pointless and crude language is not allowed and will result in your video being removed and your thread possible being locked.

Rules for Guides


  • Be descriptive, be informative and be accurate! Walkthroughs can be challenging to write, especially if you don't have a source for images to help people along, so accuracy and descriptive writing is both encouraged and required. If there are complaints that your walkthrough is inaccurate or confusing from enough people, your thread may be closed if not fixed!
  • If you post a walkthrough, it does not have to be complete. You may update it in the same manner as a Let's Play, but try to keep things updated and neat, so people will be able to understand and enjoy the FAQ without much effort.

Rules for Reviews


A small review example is posted on the next post after this one. Feel free to use it to see what quality your review should have when posting.
  • Do not post generally negative reviews with the intention of flamebaiting another reviewer and their opinion. Explain your reasoning thoroughly!
  • Your review must be of decent length, both being descriptive and informative to your reader of what you liked or didn't like from a game. Extremely poor reviews will not fly and your thread will be locked! Reviews like this are NOT allowed:

    this gaem suckd!11 stupid!11 0/10!111
  • Reviews are generally someone's OPINION. If you do not like that person's opinion of a game, you may not flame or spam their thread! This will result in an infraction. You are entitled to your opinion, but do so by making a thread!
  • There is no set rating system, so feel free to use stars, 1-10, or another method easy to understand.
  • Reviews can be posted by anyone and the same game may be reviewed by as many people as want to post a review. You may reply to a review if you disagree, agree or just want to ask them something relevant to their review, but once again, leave your flamebaiting out of the area!


These are prototype rules and are subject to change as needed. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to PM Dragon or Nova.


Big thank you to Klippy & Captain Fabio for making the rules!
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  #2    
Old December 16th, 2013 (03:32 PM).
Dragon's Avatar
Dragon
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Kou Empire
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest

Let's Play Examples!


While Let's Plays can be written without pictures or recorded through Fraps or another method, many Let's Plays may only be able to be made with photos and captions. This is an example I whipped up in...like five minutes, so excuse the rather mundane and boring captions.

Example Screenshot Let's Play


This is just an example, but fill in some information here and there and let us know a little bit about why you chose the game or some other details, like so: "Welcome to my Let's Play of Half-Life 2! This game is a classic and one of my favorite games on Earth, so I figured I'd take you guys along for the ride!" You are not required to place your Let's Play into spoiler tags, but it is definitely a little neater looking.

Spoiler:

Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. Logo. BEST. GAME. EVER.


This is just some creepy intro thing with a strange man. It's boring, so I didn't take many pictures. Let's get to the fun...


Now he's fading away! Bye strange man!


CHAPTER ONE. Point Insertion. "I didn't see you get on the train." "How observant."


This is Dr. Breen. He's sort of like the city's mayor. "Welcome. Welcome to City 17."


I quit listening after that and watched this guy get shoved into his suitcase. Poor man. :'(


Example Written Let's Play


Your written Let's Play may include sprites or images also, but for this example, I will show a basic written Let's Play and include some overworld Pokémon sprites so it isn't just a wall of text.

Looking at it, it's actually pretty sloppy work, since I barely described the fight with Petrel and skipped the double-battle with Lance. This is okay work generally, but it's preferred that you go into as MUCH detail as possible when doing a written Let's Play, as we have no other source of imagery, other than your words. A few sprites here and there, if doing a Pokémon Let's Play, is advisable and preferred, but not required.

Spoiler:
Since we last left off, I traveled to the Lake of Rage and caught myself the Red Gyarados causing all sorts of trouble up there.



After that, I couldn't really think of what I was supposed to do. So I wandered around the world a bit and tried to level up my Torchic, but every single Pokémon in the wild was Mareep. I ended up going back to the Lake of Rage to see if I had missed something and found Lance there. So we took down a Team Rocket base together. I probably spent about ten minutes trying to go through the entire place before I finally got the two passwords. Then I fought the creepy guy with purple hair, Petrel.



He wasn't too tough, but then I fought the other Executive with Lance and that was even easier. Haha. After that, we caused all the Pokémon to faint and left. I noticed the gym was now open and headed inside to fight a freezer! It was here I trained up my Torchic. From a level 8 to a level 16 in two fights, he evolved right away into Combusken.



I finished off the rest of the skiers and headed to fight Pryce, after a quick heal at the Pokémon Center.



I thought Pryce would end up being a piece of cake, but Combusken fainted after Seal used Hail and I guess he couldn't handle it. It was somewhat disappointing, since I was banking on him being my powerhouse guy for this gym. Guess I should've leveled him more though, haha.

VS.

I sent out Togekiss, intending to use Metronome, hopefully to get a fire-type attack, but unfortunately for me, Seal's Hail ripped Togekiss apart also. He fell pretty fast too, but he took Seal with him with a decent damaging Extrasensory.

VS.

After that disaster, I sent out Ambipom, hoping some of his moves would quickly deal with Dewgong. I was really, really wrong. Ambipom didn't even land a hit on Dewgong and he fainted very fast. He even was frozen.

VS.

I entered panic mode at this point, since I didn't think any of my other types could do that well. I sent out Ampharos, hoping an electric attack would do the trick. He fell pretty fast also, but managed to take out Dewgong too. It was a lucky shot, I guess.

VS.

At this point, I was pretty sure I was gunna lose, since fire was what I was counting on and I lost him early on. I sent out Feraligatr to see if Crunch or Bite would do much damage, but unluckily for me, Piloswine froze Feraligatr pretty quickly and Crunch only damaged him slightly. With Feraligatr technically out of the battle, I switched out to Vensaur who took tons of damage from another hail storm. I didn't know ice would do so much to grass. But I shot a few Razor Leaf attacks at Piloswine and he fainted. I nearly missed losing thanks to a lucky Super Potion that healed Venasaur just enough to keep him in the battle.



After that, I felt accomplished enough to save the game and try to head to the next city, only to realize I forgot to battle Jasmine...

Review Example!


Your review doesn't need to be extremely long, but enough that a reader with no knowledge of the game can get a clear picture of what is going on. Your review should/can be in paragraph form. Below is a quick example of a paragraph review. (Your review does not have to be exactly like the example; feel free to test new ideas, as long as they are informative enough!)

Example Paragraph Review


Spoiler:


Half-Life 2. Considered one of the best games of all time due to its highly detailed and realistic facial movements, strong vocal cast and fun gameplay, it has also made a mark on me. Along with the Portal and Left 4 Dead series, Valve is a company known for quality entertainment and this game does not disappoint.

Opening up with a small intro with a strange man known as the G-Man, you find yourself traveling on a train with two other passengers. Walking up to them and pressing the interaction key will greet you with dialogue before the train halts and you step onto the platform. Once there, you'll be met by a giant screen welcoming you to your destination. Though he seems friendly, you will see this place is far from happy. Turning a corner will put you face to face with a "cop" shoving a citizen trying to collect his bag.

Cans litter the floor and picking up one will introduce you to the game's physics engine, capable of some pretty impressive things. From flinging a can at the officer to seeing a whole pillar of items rain down on you, the physics are as real and impressive as they come.

Soon after this, you'll exit into the city after meeting an old friend, which begins the plot and gets you back into the loop of the world. You begin without knowing a thing, but quickly can see things are quite poor. You're in the future, on Earth, where an alien force has taken over due to something you caused in the original title. Humans are dwindling and so is the Earth's resources, but there is still hope in a small resistance group.



You'll quickly meet up with other major characters, but before you can be teleported to the resistance base, an accident occurs and you are caught on the run. Making your way through a train yard and an old canal system, you'll find yourself at the base only to be forced to leave soon after. This is where the game shifts from one gameplay style to a new one, and so on.

You begin simply trying to run away from the pursuing enemy in the train yard, then are treated to vehicle gameplay as you travel through the canals of the outlying area of the city. Once you are forced out of the resistance base, you suddenly enter a survival-horror game, chased by zombies and followed by a strange priest. Once free from there, you're back into a vehicle, traveling the beaches on the coast while fleeing from helicopters, helping out the resistance and fighting giant bugs. You then enter a prison facility with the help of friendly aliens and minor real time strategy elements and are treated to the giant bugs and alien police forces hell-bent on murdering you. Then it's back to the city where the resistance has began an assault to take it back and you are able to have a small band of them help and follow you, while sabotaging the enemies and their machines. Finally, you are treated to a small boss fight before the game ends with a big cliffhanger before fading to black as the credits roll.



These different gameplay styles keep things feeling fresh and going from small areas to wide open battlefields from one load screen to another is a unique way to keep the game from getting stale at its 21 hour playtime. Not only do the characters keep you interested, but the constantly changing style of play does too. With a plethora of guns and other weapons, you'll find yourself blasting enemies out of the way with satisfying effect.

Though the characters, plot and gameplay are all superb, there are several issues with the game. There are hundreds of loading screens, whether it be walking the streets of the city and entering a building, to getting on the roof of another, there are just a ridiculous amount of loading screens. Though they are fast, the constant pausing can become an annoyance. The only other gripe I have with the game is that the AI is kind of dumb. Your resistance group will run into walls or completely ignore what's going on. When you need them to run full-force into the bullets while you reload or heal, they may only watch with interest as you are murdered. But despite these problems, the enemy AI and major plot characters are well-done and never feel sloppy or dumb.

With an enormous amount of character building, gameplay variations, and good fun, it's no wonder the Half-Life series has emerged as one of the best around. With the addition of two expansions and a possible third, Half-Life 2 is a giant adventure waiting to be played.

This game is strongly recommended to fans of first-person shooters, great storylines, and unique gameplay or even to anyone willing to test out a different kind of game.
Feel free to PM Aura Blackquill if you have any other ideas for examples and they may be added here (with credit to you!)
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  #3    
Old January 3rd, 2014 (07:06 PM). Edited August 23rd, 2014 by Klippy.
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Dragon
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Kou Empire
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest

The Let’s Play Guide to Glory



I - Introduction


LPing is fun, simple as. Why else would you want to do it. Everyone thinks about doing an LP now and again, maybe one of a game they really love, one that has just come out, or maybe just because they feel like it. However, one of the problems with LPing can be that not everyone has the right tools, don’t know what tools to use, don’t want the internet to hear their voice or other things, but they are ok. In this guide, I aim to, hopefully, cancel out those problems. I will be discussing different types of LPs, how to LP correctly, what software you need and what is available to you, free or paid and more.
I will cover as much content as possible and I will also have example LPs that I consider to be good. This doesn’t mean you should do it exactly like the examples, but I do think people should check them out and maybe gain some inspiriting and guidance from them.


II – What is an LP?


An LP stands for ‘Let’s Play’. It is normally when someone/ a group of people, play through a game, commenting on it as they go through. A lot of the time, they are entertaining due to the humour of the LPers. This is normally done through a video, where the LPers are recording the gameplay and talking over it, or it can be screenshots with captions. However, if someone didn’t want to do a screen shotted LP, but didn’t want to talk, this is just as good, as this is called a ‘Long Play’ and are still popular.

People sometimes ask which one gets more popularity and traffic? Personally, I say the video LPs get more traffic, only because they are normally posted on YouTube, where as the screen shotted LPs are normally on forums. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a waste of time doing the latter LP, they are still popular and nice to read through if you don’t want to be watching a video.


III – The Basics


You need to first find a game that you think could be very fun, or if you know it is fun. Putting it nicely, no one is going to watch you LP something that has the equivalent of paint drying. For your first LP, you could take a game you love and know, the only reason I say this is because you might be a little nervous making your first, so picking a game you are familiar with might help to ease your nerves due to knowing it well. This is what I did for mine, I picked Tales of Symphonia as my first LP and I felt relaxed as I was going through, because I knew I wasn’t going to get stuck for an hour because I couldn’t find something and end up getting frustrated and embarrassed; all something you don’t want to happen on your first LP outing.

One thing you should always be is yourself. If you try to act like some crazy person, it might not work in your favour. Be yourself, be humours if you wish, but you have to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, then you aren’t doing something right and you are missing the point of the whole project you have embarked on.

Update your LP regularly. If you let it die, people will forget about it, if you can’t be bothered then just let people know you are busy. Communication with your fanbase is one of the most important things. If you drop off the face of the earth, they won’t notice if you aren’t that big and you will be forgotten. It is a harsh reality, but it is true. By updating your LP thread AT LEAST every week, you will be able to keep it alive and you will be able to keep your fanbase informed nicely. If you are not able to do a video for the week, or you are busy, then let them know.


IV – What do I need?


I am mainly talking referring to PC LPs, as they are the easiest to do, but you can LP consoles games if you wish.
  • A game (Let’s take Football Manager 2012 as an example)
  • Screen capturing software (Will cover the different options further down)
  • A microphone (If your computer/laptop doesn’t have one)
    OPTIONAL:
  • Video and/or Audio Editing Software (Will cover the different options below)


First off, you will need a game, this is clearly obvious, otherwise what would you be doing an LP of? The game can be anything you like, but note that if a game is 18+, then you might struggle to find a ‘clean’ site that will accept it.
The Screen Capturing Software is a very important bit of kit that you need and you will need to make sure you pick the right one, or you could have recorded so much content, to realise that it is no good. There is so much software available to us, that it can be difficult and confusing to decide on which to use, or which would be the best for us to use, when taking into consideration what we are doing. I have also compiled a list of available software for you to use, which will is located at the end of this section.

If you are going to be commenting on the game in real time, then you will obviously need something to record your voice with. Most standard laptops now-a-days have a built in microphone, so you won’t need to purchase an external one. If you have a desktop, then you may need to buy one. They aren’t very expensive and you don’t need the top of the range, band recording equipment that reduces a lot of stuff. You are, most likely, going to be doing this in a relatively peaceful environment, so a standard £/$10 one will do.

This part is for people who want to go a little above just having a straight recorded video. The usage of video software is for post production on your LP videos. This is sometimes done to balance out audio that isn’t right, add in special transitions, join two videos together, maybe if you stopped half way because your cat decided to jump on your keyboard and ruin your recording.
Post production isn’t an easy thing to get the hang of. You can go basic and just cut together takes to make them seamless, but going that extra mile by creating opening for your LPs, or such things as this can take time. I know a lot about Post Production because a part of my degree had a large section on it.


V – Software & Sites


With so much software available to you, it is difficult to decide which you should use. In this part, I am just going to say what the most common and most useful ones are for each part of the LP and which are free and paid. Please note, Post Production software is only normally good on a paid version, because it is a powerful piece of kit, which has had a lot of work, go into making it.

PLEASE NOTE: I WILL NOT ANSWER PEOPLE IF YOU ASK HOW TO GET PIRATED SOFWARE. Any such question will result in punishment, as I am not here to accommodate your law breaking ways.

Screen Capturing Software



Free:
CamStudio
Debut Video Capture
XFire
WeGame
HyperCam 2
CaptureMe (FOR MAC)

Paid
Camtasia

Post Production Software


Free
Solvieg MM Avi Trimmer
Audacity
Windows Movie Maker
iMovie (FOR MAC)
Hyperversion-AV (FOR MAC)

Paid
Sony Vegas
Adobe Premiere

Sites


There are many sites you can use to upload your images and videos but the best ones are listed below:

Videos:


Youtube

Images:


Photobucket
Imageshack

NOTE FOR USING IMAGESHACK (Thanks to bobandbill for this):
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandbill
GUYS

Remeber what I said about imageshack forcing that image limit thus meaning people need to reupload all the images and either start a new thread and/or replace all the urls manually for their LP images if they were with imageshack?

I've made up a program for myself that'll likely be able to replace them with new image urls if one reuploads the pictures and they have a consistent url throughout (e.g. http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...ks/image01.jpg,
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u156/lennyshanks/image02.jpg - same url bar the 'image__' part of it.

So if anyone is in the same pickle I was with that and their imageshack images have a consistent naming scheme followed by a number ignoring the imageshack part of the url for images (in other words, I had for instance:
Quote:
[IMG]http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/8918/pokemondiamond41.png[/IMG]
[IMG]http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/4097/pokemondiamond42.png[/IMG]
then I can adjust my program so you can replace image urls in a post if you save it to a .txt file automatically after a few extra small steps. Just throwing that out as it might be useful for more than myself.

VI – Hints and Tips


BE YOURSELF! I can’t say this enough. To act like someone else will mislead your audience and once they see through it, they will lose interest. Don’t try to emulate your favourite LPer or someone that you have seen who is popular, just take it at your own pace and it is that simple; there are too many wannabes out there, so be a shepard, not a sheep.

When uploading your video to Youtube, don’t upload all your videos at the same time. I know I can’t stand it when I sign onto my Youtube account and I have been spammed by one person uploading all their videos. Upload one or two a day at the maximum. This way, people are more inclined to watch those uploaded videos, if they are 10 or 20 minutes long, instead of watching a 3 hour compilation of videos that have all been uploaded at the same time. We all lead busy lives, I know I don’t have that amount of time to spend watching videos on Youtube.

Keep the length of one sit-in, between 10 and 20 minutes. This is because of the same reason said about the uploading part. People won’t want to sit through a 30+ minute video of you going through an LP. Sure, it might be amazing, but 30 minutes to sit there and watch something on a computer is a long time. I normally keep my videos between 10 and 12 minutes, because, for me, that is the amount of time I will watch one video for before I start to get a little bored, regardless of if it is good. Don’t forget, your audience are in the era of the ‘easily bored’ people.

Plan out what you are going to say. If you know what the game is and you have played it before, then you could have a little brain storming session of what you could say in parts. Obviously, one big parts of LPing is the improvisation and if you have a completely scripted video, it is going to be very boring for people because they will see right through it. One thing to do, could be to make a note of big, important parts in the game, like a big boss fight, an important bit of dialogue and have something to talk about for that. I normally make a note of what is coming up and write important pointers about it, but I mainly improvise.

If you don’t feel like doing a video one day, THEN DON’T. If you aren’t enthusiastic about a video, then there is no point doing it, because if you are feeling bored while producing it, how do you think the viewers will feel? Just take a day off, your viewers won’t die if they don’t get their daily or weekly fix.


VII – Conclusion


I hope this has helped you guys and girls in any questions you might have had. The main reason for this is to get those people who are on the fence into the wonderful world of ‘Let’s Play’.

You are more than welcome to ask us, the moderators, any questions about an LP you are thinking of or anything else at all. Thanks for reading!
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