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Subject: What Makes a Good How To Play Video? rss

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Larry Lawrence
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I'm curious, what do folks generally look for in a how to play video?

Do you prefer a how to play video that is short; providing a quick description of set up and overview of key rules?

Do you prefer the video to provide a detailed walk through of the rules, even if it means for a longer video?

Do you prefer the rules to be taught at a quick clip, even if it means you have to periodically pause the video to follow along with set-up etc. real time? Or do you prefer a more methodical pace, that can allow you to follow along with set-up real time?

For a really complicated game, are you more likely to just read a rule book or watch a how to play video? What about for a light game?
 
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Chris Hanratty
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I don't really do How to Play videos, but the few times I have I've gone for the shorter, snappier ones, more to get an overview of how the game is played and not for any minor details. I avoid any that are longer than a few minutes if possible, and if someone starts giving their life story I'll turn it off and look for another one.

I'll always read the rulebook anyway, and maybe consult a video if I'm not sure about something. Even then, I'd look on the game forums here first - reading is faster.



I've just realised I sound really impatient.
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Keith B
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Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.
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You can't handle the truth?
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texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Pretty much. I might catch some flak on this but I 100% think Rodney's way is perfect, whilst RickyRoyal's (I think that's his name) videos are literally impossible to watch IMO... 5+ hours to explain Mage Knight? Ok.
 
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Larry Lawrence
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texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Thanks, but what in particular do you like about his presentation? Why do you prefer him over someone like Rhado or Jon Gets Games?
 
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Ben Asher
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LaborLawLarry wrote:
texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Thanks, but what in particular do you like about his presentation? Why do you prefer him over someone like Rhado or Jon Gets Games?


Rodney is concise. Rahdo says everything that pops into his head.
Rodney is accurate. Rahdo frequently states rules incorrectly and misplays.
Rodney reserves his opinion, allowing the viewer to form their own based on the game itself. Rahdo basically invented the hype train.

But mostly Rodney is concise.

Edit: Paul Grogan is my other choice if I'm going to watch a how to play video rather than a review. For all the same reasons.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Another thing: Know the rules! Don't learn them on camera. There's a few games out there where there's only one video, and they are figuring the game out as they record. Seriously?

Rodney is an excellent example of how to do it.
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Dan Ridge
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LaborLawLarry wrote:
texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Thanks, but what in particular do you like about his presentation? Why do you prefer him over someone like Rhado or Jon Gets Games?


Rahdo is like watching over someone's shoulder while they play and them giving you a running commentary on what and why they are making the plays they make. It's great to get a good feel for how the game flows and how the mechanics work together as well as some ideas on how to score points/win the game. Works great to get an idea of what the game is like in play.

Rodney does a fantastic job of displaying all the components in a set-up manner, explains what each player needs and does and goes through the rules very logically and clearly. He doesn't rush his words, he reserves personal judgement, and he speaks very clearly. He explains scoring and end game conditions. I don't want to say he gives a clinical presentation but he gives a very slick, produced, and understandable explanation of the rules and game play.

I've said it previously when I want a great overview of game flow and mechanics I'll watch Rahdo but when I want to understand the game rules I will always pick Rodney. Both excellent guys that give a lot of time and effort with different goals.
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Jason Brown
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LaborLawLarry wrote:
texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Thanks, but what in particular do you like about his presentation? Why do you prefer him over someone like Rhado or Jon Gets Games?

Neither Rahdo nor Jon make how to play videos, they film run throughs.

Rodney and Paul are the gold standard. They're clear, concise and thorough. There's a reason Portal hired Paul to re-write the rule book for their new edition of Robinson Crusoe.
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Paul Luxton
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If it's a lighter game I won't bother with a video. If it's a a game with weight ratings 3ish and above then I want something that gets the rules right as concisely but comprehensively as possible. I want clear graphics supporting the audio, stable cameras and a decent speed of delivery without rushing.

Rodney and Paul Grogan are the exmplars of how to do it. Of course Paul has an advantage when it comes to accuracy as he often wrote the rules as well.
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Keith B
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beelzeben wrote:
LaborLawLarry wrote:
texascpa wrote:
Watch Rodney on Watch It Played. That's how it should be done.


Thanks, but what in particular do you like about his presentation? Why do you prefer him over someone like Rhado or Jon Gets Games?


Rodney is concise. Rahdo says everything that pops into his head.
Rodney is accurate. Rahdo frequently states rules incorrectly and misplays.
Rodney reserves his opinion, allowing the viewer to form their own based on the game itself. Rahdo basically invented the hype train.

But mostly Rodney is concise.

Edit: Paul Grogan is my other choice if I'm going to watch a how to play video rather than a review. For all the same reasons.


Couldn't have said it any better.
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Pete
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I find Rodney's videos useless. He just recites the rules. I can read the rules.

For all the sometimes fumbling, Rhado offers a glimpse into how the game actually plays, and what the choices you're likely to encounter are. That's something you can't necessarily get just by reading the rules.

Pete (watches Rhado sometimes, but has no use for Rodney)
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Pete (watches Rhado sometimes, but has no use for Rodney)


I find them both useful.

I can read the rules, but at any one time, I've got several games that I am learning. So, it's nice to put on a Rodney video and get the gist before I crack the rules. For some games, the video alone is enough to get me up and playing.

I also find Rodney great for refreshers. For example, I hadn't played Eminent Domain in over a year, so I just watched Rodney's video, and I'm good to go.

I can then follow it up with a Rhado video for a full picture of how the game plays if I want.

If I try to learn a game from Rhado, I usually read the rules first and then watch the playthrough. (I do the opposite with Rodney.) I couldn't get the flow of Ulm after reading the rules a few times, for example, so I watched the Rhado playthrough and it made everything clear.

I think a huge difference is that Rhado is clear that he isn't teaching you the rules while that is Rodney's stated purpose. So, taking them both on their own terms, I find them useful resources for what I might need at a given moment.

Kevin



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Leif Carlsen
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Pete
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natsean wrote:
Quote:
Pete (watches Rhado sometimes, but has no use for Rodney)


I find them both useful.

I can read the rules, but at any one time, I've got several games that I am learning. So, it's nice to put on a Rodney video and get the gist before I crack the rules. For some games, the video alone is enough to get me up and playing.

I also find Rodney great for refreshers. For example, I hadn't played Eminent Domain in over a year, so I just watched Rodney's video, and I'm good to go.

I can then follow it up with a Rhado video for a full picture of how the game plays if I want.

If I try to learn a game from Rhado, I usually read the rules first and then watch the playthrough. (I do the opposite with Rodney.) I couldn't get the flow of Ulm after reading the rules a few times, for example, so I watched the Rhado playthrough and it made everything clear.

I think a huge difference is that Rhado is clear that he isn't teaching you the rules while that is Rodney's stated purpose. So, taking them both on their own terms, I find them useful resources for what I might need at a given moment.

Kevin



I suppose it depends on the kind of learner you are. I was subscribed to Rodney for some time, but I ultimately unsubscribed. What he offers, I can get faster and more effectively from a rulebook. But rulebooks put some people straight to sleep, so I get where his appeal lies.

It's also undeniably true that understanding the rules of a game is easier if the game is already set up and on the table, and Rodney does that for you.

Pete (simply found himself "skipping" most of Rodney's videos and so he removed them from his queue)
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Jason Brown
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I've been watching Tom "Slickerdrips" Heath more than anyone else lately. He focuses on solo games and doesn't do rules explanations, but he does an excellent job describing why he's making each choice during his play throughs. His YouTube channel as at the top of my subscription list.
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