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[PSA] On Showing Off Your System

amechra

Registered User
Validated User
Alright, this might seem a bit petty, but...

I've noticed a lot of games will have a Youtube video (or twelve) that show off systems and gameplay. This is pretty good, because some people work best off of audiovisual. I've also seen some games (usually on Kickstarter) where the pitch is in the form of just a video... this is less good.

I get anxiety attacks on occasion, and one of the things that kicks it off is recorded speech, especially with multiple people involved. It's kind of hard to explain why exactly, and it's not every time (which makes it worse, actually), I just know that I avoid videos from sources that I don't know are OK. In other words, I can't watch your pitch video without expending incredible amounts of mental effort.

On top of that, I have the auditory memory of a goldfish - it's literally in one ear and out the other. So if I do force myself to watch your video? It won't stick. Your carefully crafted tutorial will be forgotten as soon as it ends, with nothing left but a vague impression that your game was about, I dunno, super serious clam people or something? Yes, even if your game is actually about something completely different. My hearing is absolutely useless, is what I'm trying to say.

So, umm... maybe keep this in mind when you're presenting your game? Please don't think that having a video is a silver bullet that'll work for everyone. Redundancy is a good thing.
 

Snoof

Time-Travelling Layabout
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I don't have the same anxiety experience, but I do vastly prefer text and/or pictures to video. I find it much easier to retain and process information when I can go at my own speed. So, I agree - please don't have videos be the sole (or even primary) source of information about your product.

(Instructional videos on Youtube replacing written documentation drives me up the wall, too.)
 

Bình

Unregistered user
Validated User
(Instructional videos on Youtube replacing written documentation drives me up the wall, too.)
"Here's a 20 minute video that lays out all the info you need to know so you don't need to suffer through a whole paragraph and two photos."

I've learned to check the top rated comments first. There's usually one with a lot of thumbs up that says something like "tutorial starts at 7:42".
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
I admit that I rarely watch the videos on things like Kickstarter. I just find that I retain more of the information when I read the pitch attached, which is usually more detailed anyways. I do occasionally watch Youtube videos, but I'm not a big consumer of them, particularly not the kind trying to teach me rules. I'd rather read a rulebook than have rules explained to me.
 

TheMouse

garmonbozia
Validated User
I retain information from videos teaching game systems better if it's one person speaking about the system while they show the physical game widget that goes along with what they're saying. Want to tell me about rolling dice? Show the bits of the sheet from which the stats come, then roll the dice on top of the sheet or in a box edited into the video frame so that I can continue to reference the character sheet while I see what the dice do. Because at some point I'm going to want to look back at the sheet to help me remember. In other words, treat the experience as a higher tech version of a teacher standing in front of a chalk board, talking about something, but also using the visual component as a reminder of what's going on.

The idea of learning how a game works by a table of people playing it on a YouTube video doesn't work well for me. I can do it, but it's harder.
 

Insect King

Mechristopheles!
Validated User
On top of that, I have the auditory memory of a goldfish - it's literally in one ear and out the other. So if I do force myself to watch your video? It won't stick.
Make notes. That's how I make what I'm listening to stick. I have a severely impaired working memory so I have to rely on external records to help keep cycling.

Cheers,

Chris.
 

LatinaBunny

Cyberprep Warrior
Validated User
I don't have the same anxiety experience, but I do vastly prefer text and/or pictures to video. I find it much easier to retain and process information when I can go at my own speed. So, I agree - please don't have videos be the sole (or even primary) source of information about your product.

(Instructional videos on Youtube replacing written documentation drives me up the wall, too.)
Yeah, this is me as well. I do have anxiety in life, though.

Nowadays, I just can’t focus on most videos (for gathering information) most of the time, and I learn faster by reading text, looking at images, or, you know, experiencing the actual thing.

I rarely look at videos on Kickstarter; I always look at the written documentations and quickstart PDFs.

I don’t usually get far with tabletop rpg videos except for D&D. (And even then, only specific channels and certain users I’ll watch.)

Still, I can tolerate a bit of video once in a while.

Oh, but the worst for me, though, are audio podcasts. I’m a terrible auditory learner! I need to see subtitles or text and/or visuals somewhere. I tend to mishear or struggle to hear certain things, or even miss some things, when listening, so I would have to take notes. (In college history class, I had to buy and use a recorder for the lectures, so I can replay and take written notes, but I greatly preferred just reading the history text book over listening to lectures.)
 
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Dropkicker

Part Time Dilettante
Validated User
On of my biggest problems with videos is that quite often the presenter seems to be under the mistaken impression that you come across as more knowledgeable the more words you use, whether they're necessary or not. Another is where the presenter thinks they're being cool relating anecdotes and personal observations that actually have little value added.
 

Scutarii

Registered User
Validated User
I never watch the Kickstarter videos. Almost no one actually sounds good when trying to sound enthusiastic about what is, essentially, a bit of a silly past time. not unless they're practiced at it. And trying to add some gravitas or air of seriousness is even worse. Thing is, your video may actually be good. Still won't get watched. Well has been poisoned already so there's no benefit of the doubt left.

Double plus is that I can read your bullet points/paragraphs/etc. while doing other things (like working...) that I can't do with a video.
 

Shade the Lost

Registered User
Validated User
Personally, while a picture (and written instructions) are invaluable, I feel that a well-made video for the same system will make that "ohhh, NOW I get it!" light turn on a lot faster. Sometimes it's simply because the instructions were poorly written, sometimes it's just me finding videos to be the next best thing to being able to ask the developers what they were thinking. Instruction videos tend to show off the unspoken assumptions in an "of course you do it this way!" sort of fashion that bare text never reveals.
 
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