Lostcast 108: Tubecast

  • Patron

    I found this podcast very interesting, particularly because I consider myself simply bad at marketing. I think many developers fall in to this category, particularly those of us that are passionate about programming. I’d rather make the app/game better than try to promote it.

    These techniques you discussed actually transcend video game promotion. For example, I never thought of YouTube at all as a way to promote my wares. I instead give lectures and attended conferences. Perhaps my talks should’ve been recorded and placed on YouTube? The thought never occurred to me. Not just games, but perhaps my normal app development could also have demos on YouTube? For example, I could show off Ragatron and maybe have a “The Making of…” video.

    I used to write regular articles on my blog to help promote, but writing regular blog entries can be a dreadful chore, and my analytics showed nobody really read them anyway. They’d arrive at my blog, download my sample code, and then leave --which when I think about it is exactly what I would do. Perhaps I could try screen-casting instead?

    I noticed LDG has a blog too at /blog/ that is not really up to date either. You hit 2013 hard and then gave up on it. That is exactly what I happened to my blog. It seems like you decided podcasting was a better way to connect with your audience. I still haven’t found mine.

    Good episode. I’m glad we get to learn from your experience.

  • Tiger Hat

    I agree, great episode. I have been thinking myself that doing a video blog would be easier and more successful than a text blog. I might still update a text blog, but maybe only to embed the video entry and perhaps add a little extra commentary (or if there are code samples, then an easier way for people to download/copy them). I think that videos are what the kids are doing these days anyway, having lost (at least) a decade myself, it doesn’t come natural to me, but I think that videos of everything are pretty much where it’s going.

    As far as doing coding or art videos and playing lostcast as the soundtrack, it doesn’t sound that great to me. Hey, give it a try, but it seems like the context wouldn’t be there. Now if you’re going to do the coding with commentary about it, that sounds great. But for Lostcast itself, seems like images related to what’s being discussed would be better. I mean if I wanted to look at some code or art while listening to you, I could just open another tab. It does however sound like a lot more work to have related stuff. For example you could record visiting the website you’re talking about, or show a picture of the book, or a tiny video of the game concept. Editing and lining all that up tho sounds like a lot more effort than just showing “something”.

    Also, I totally agree on trailer length, 60 seconds is about right, 90 is pushing it, any more than that I’ve already stopped watching. (unless you’re the ASMR master) . For tutorial vids or even coding, I think if you can break them down into 5-7 minutes that’s best (I hardly ever have time to sit and watch a 40minute anything). Otherwise if I’m looking to watch a marathon coding session I’d look for them on Twitch.

    I get that it’s hard to talk about what you’re coding, so one interesting thing there might be to record a few hours of coding, then do both of you doing a commentary stream on Twitch about it. This way you’d have your partner to ask questions to keep things going and kind of doing a code review and you also get the Twitch viewers who can ask questions that either of you might not think about. Then you can publish (I assume, not Twitch savvy) the result to YouTube. Of course you can edit the 3 hours of code down to an hour or something. Same thing for art.

  • LDG

    Cool thanks for the words guys! Yeah we definitely let the blog languish, and this has mostly been an intentional decision – blogs seem to be more time-consuming to make than, heck even podcasts, and the payoff is very small. Nobody wants to read anymore! At least, not gamers. And in this context, developers just want to scrape info from you and be on their way.

    Agreed the Lostcast videos aren’t that compelling, moving forward we’ll probably just keep those as podcasts and forget the videos. I find coding and talking not too bad, but I code on Mac, while my Windows machine is better at video processing. Complicated!

  • Tiger Hat

    Great episode guys (although I still have about six minutes left to listen to, so who knows… ) (jk lol)

    I like your lets play videos of project skirmish, but I can see why they are not getting more views. You put your finger on it when you said that the amount of people who want to see you two play a game that may not even see the light of day is probably, well, fifty or so. Hence fifty views!

    However, the amount of people who would want to hear you two talk about developing a certain game mechanic/enemy ability/environment balancing/whatever, with your prototype game as the backdrop (like with the podcast, right?), is going to be considerably more. The examples you gave about the escape goat tutorial analysis and the artist illustrate this point perfectly.

    I shared a video on Twitter about some guy completing Mario World with a complicated in-game hack in six minutes - he did the same: it was voiced over a pre-recorded Twitch stream of him doing the hack, but the voiceover also gave background info about the hack, who first developed it, other similar hacks, etc. etc. so it was pretty interesting.

    TL;DR - don’t call them ‘let’s play’, cos people only want that for games they know, call them ‘how to design ranged enemies’ or something better than that. Suggestions welcome.

    • ‘Learn Decent Games: ranged enemies’
    • ‘no time - got to go to work!’

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