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Subject: Gameplay Videos rss

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I've noticed that some publishers request a gameplay/pitch/overview video when submitting a design for consideration.

Does anyone here have any recommendations or advice for creating a video like this (software, equipment, general tips, etc.)?

Thank you for the help!
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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When I'm making my play-through videos for my games I use the following:

D3DGear - program for video capture, totally free and takes minimum impact on your system while recording so you have most FPS

Tabletop Simulator
- 'game' that you can buy on Steam, where you can make a mod of your game and play it in virtual 3D environment, costs around 20 USD, you can buy it from Kinguin for 10 USD. But, it needs a knowledge how to mod, which isn't hard to learn in the case of TTS. Basically you make images, host them on Dropbox or some web hosting image service and just copy links of your images to tab placeholders of decks, boards, tokens, tiles...

Windows Movie Maker - for editing my videos that I capture. It's kinda free, comes with the Windows.


Here is the example:

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Sadly am very very short of time right now, so I am going to give you some advice in "telegraph style".

- Hardware : The more cpu cores the better, you will edit the video faster (and compress zip or the like files way faster, too, for sending videos to anyone). For what it is, IMO, if you have two PCs at home, one is an i7, the other an i3 or i5, go with the i7 by all means. Not more cores is always better. Some AMDs have many cores but if the cores are not too fast it helps very little. IE: A sweet spot (quality & price) for pretty everything of an average user, an intel core i5 6600k, can do better than some AMDs with more number of cores ('cause each core is very underpowered). RAM helps (8 - 16, more is not really that needed for this purpose), and a fast hard drive helps. (SSDs are the fastest, although I keep being a mechanical HD fan/user. And have my reasons for that. If is about HD, here is preferable the ones with a rotation speed of 7200rpm (there are some expensive ones at 10k or 15k rpm) than the usual laptops ones, which tend to be only 5.400 rpm. Of course, does not apply to SSDs, those don't rotate! And are uber fast, but specially with the huge amount of writes that video edit makes... For your occasional usage, not a prob. Is just that a large amount of writes (1 - 2 petabytes) it shortens/ends the SSDs life, and editing video one can write hundreds of GBs a day (I used to). This is why SSDs are mostly used for the boot system (only. Some people even set the windows scratch disk in other unit). Or as a scratch disk knowing that you'll have to replace it in 5 years or less. )

In general: Best if you pick an i7, but an i5 will do for very basic video editing. Worth mentioning that the best machines of a reasonable cost for the average joe who want to get very serious in his/her home video editing, are the more professional intel's platform, the x99 mother boards and its processors, specially good in price/performance ratio, the core i7 5820k(a bit old now, but very powerful, more for video editing than the other branch of intel, the consumer branch with its i7 6700k, which is an amazing cpu anyway. Just due to the difference of 6 cores instead of four, being each core quite fast.) Or the 6800k (a bit better/newer). Those are *beasts* for any usage (only thing above is a Xeon, but if it's a quite high end one, as a Xeon can be anything in the scale), but kind of 200$/300$ more expensive in total (even more counting on that this more pro cpus don't have integrated graphic cards, you are forced to buy one since day 1). Today, if working with Premiere or similar professional software, pays having a good graphic card (a lot of the good gaming card would do, an average one) , because many of these apps do use the graphic card for video rendering (like some 3D renderers use them too). Anyway, CPU and RAM are absolutely key, as it is a fast disk. I don't recommend you to purchase any sort of software, just for this (unless you have the 80 bucks for Sony vegas). I only tell you what works best in case you can decide among several machines at home or use a friend's one, etc. As you are not planning to dedicate to this, is just for the gameplay youtube video, not worth any more than some few bucks.

- Software to use is quite the key. IMO, the most serious bet at a very good price is Sony Vegas video editor. Is not just REALLY good, is also easy to learn and handle, and very cheap. My top recommendation.
If you are not to spend that little money, a much lower (cost+capability) solution, but that helps quite for very basic video editing (but I have done professional game intros with it in its day, 10 years ago, and the distro bosses, an my bosses used to end up really happy. After all, a good video is a lot about how you do it, the music chosen, how is mounted, etc). This super cheap software is called Cyberlink Video Editor. Is not a lot cheaper than Sony Vegas (which is already a crazy gift) , is that this software is included for free with some graphic cards, laptops, wacom tablets, desktop or AIO computers, and etc. You might have it already, or some family or friend might, even without knowing (that drawer where they did put all the papers and manuals "stuff" in its day and that they never did open again).

- Some people go for just using that super old thing, Windows Movie Maker (or iMovie or sth called like that which is the one by default in the Macs). I think one needs sth just a bit more advanced to make this gameplay videos and/or intros, but is not totally impossible.

- There are free editors, but going that route you loose a lot of ease of learning, and quite a number of features. Plus you wont be able to learn it in a reasonable time. I often used things like Virtual Dub, ffmpeg (they show it a lot in Mr. Robot, if you watch that show), imagemagick, and some transcoders.

- In video editing, is important to know that you edit in lossless video formats, in a format where you don't loose quality. Often not even that: you just save the project file when the original several video sources are just being linked inside the project, and only do a final render, instead of opening the video and re-rendering it several times. Otherwise you'd loose tons of quality (like making several saves in jpg format when editing a photo)
You have the concept of format (ie: AVI, MPG, MOV) and codec (.h264, Intel Indeo, etc). A codec is like the type of compression that you use to save in an specific format. This is very important.
A way I use a lot is editing in stills, in separate file-per frame (ie, png files), and do a one time only render (well, with many preview renders needed as I work) at the end, to whatever format and compression codec is required for whatever the different medias.

- About uploading to youtube, is a very long time since I don't do this as I had to for my job in the past, but not anymore. If hasn't changed much, then it'll be key to focus on exporting as mp4 file, using the H.264 codec, in a high resolution (720p or 1080p is more than enough, imo. Consumer machines and laptops often can't play higher than 720p with fluidity. That said, IMO, do not upload a video lower than 720p. Today that's a bad thing to do.). Not sure if I've read there's now a new version of the H.264 codec, but that one goes extremely well) . Is what Youtube used to take better, and gives an excellent quality/memory size ratio.

A video project usually will needs several dozens, or hundreds gigabytes in your HD, consider that. Even if working for a short movie at 720p.
Indeed, for the purpose mentioned, an i5 with 8 gbs ram (that and an integrated graphic card with Sony vegas is what I used for years in my last job), an average or basic typical game card (even if a bit old) , and sony vegas, is enough for do all the works. A better machine --> way less time in editing/rendering, and ability to edit at huge resolutions (ie, a i7 5820k or better for 4k resolution video editing)

ARGH. I went way WAY longer than I planned, I didn't have this 8 minutes...Ok, hope it helped. Can't teach you how to do all this, might take you months or even a year to reach an average-basic level, but there are many tutorials, and then is some tons of practice. I only wrote here to give some orientation. Sorry the typos. No time to review the fast typed grammar of all that. In short: An i5 (way better an i7, even if old) with 8GB ram, an HD disk at least of 7200rpm (or best a SDD if you don't mind the disk lifespan issue), ideally Sony Vegas, but if not maybe CyberLink Video Editor, teach your self about formats and codecs, install at least H.264 codec in your machine, watch some tones of tutorials starting for the very basic, and shouldn't be much of a problem, just quite some learning work and editing practice. This is not advice for professional video editing (not meaning as 'pro' what one makes in companies for their promoting videos, either!), that's another league. But IMO, can be of certain initial help for the task you mentioned.



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