Sunday, October 18, 2009

10/18/09 (Blog Adjustments)

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here!

In a few minutes, I'll get to talking about the first Mario Party 5 board, and maybe a few other things, but first, I want to talk about my blog, and some of the things that have been going on.

As you know, yesterday was the 2nd day in one week that i hadn't updated this thing. Before then, I actually think I did pretty well with my updates. I almost went an entire month without skipping a day, and I think I had the format down pretty well. Then on last Monday, I decided to take a break from the blog since I wasn't really updating anyways, and I also had some homework I had to get done as well. Then yesterday I just completely spaced it all-together, and when I did remember it, I just decided that updating probably just wasn't worth it by that point. Besides, I had such a hassle with the Mario Party 5 editing (moreso than the actual uploading, because the uploading went really smooth considering I had 8 to upload).

So while these two no-update days weren't that surprising, they have gotten me thinking a bit about how I should continue with this thing. Personally, while I do think there is a lot I can talk about, I don't think there is enough to satisfy a whole week's worth of content. Solution? Well, I talked about this when I started the blog, but basically, I think I'm actually going to try a slightly new format.

I'm no longer going to be updating daily, BUT, I am going to be uploading at least twice a week (somewhere between 2-4 updates per week). This way I can keep you guys updated on things maybe once or twice during the week, and then I can talk about Mario Party on Saturday, and then talk about upcoming stuff on Sunday. This might actually work out better for me, considering my schedule during the week is pretty unpredictable, and with a new project starting soon (which I'll get into later), I'm going to need a much less hectic schedule. I think this is fair.

Unless something important comes up, I would never expect a blog entry on Monday or Friday if I were you guys. Monday is kind of the "Ugh, new week...time to feel like crap" day for me, and Friday is either the "I want to come back to my dorm room and sleep for hours due to a long week" day or the "I have to spend an hour packing, an hour getting my car, and an hour driving home, so leave me alone" day. To figure out my weekday blog schedule, check and see if I post anything on Tuesday. If I do, I will probably be updating twice during the week, on Tuesday and Thursday. If I don't update on Tuesday, expect an update on Wednesday, and probably only that one Wednesday update. I will try my best to update on both Saturday and Sunday, but take that with a grain of salt, because with my schedule, I don't even know if I can be counted on. In fact, just keep that in mind for any updates. I'd like to be Mr. Reliable, and while I do come through most of the time, there is not always a safety catch. As I stated before, my real life does and will always prioritize over my Youtube and blog stuff.


Mario Party 5:

Ok guys, yesterday I uploaded the first board of Mario Party 5, and I have to say that it went pretty well. Sure, it took 8 videos, but 8 is always better than 9, I guess you could say, and that is saying a lot because I remember back in the day when my original MP1 project had boards that were over 20 videos long >_>.

Anyways, perhaps since I am using this blog as a way to give more inside information about the production of these videos, I could share with you guys the process by which I make, edit, and upload them. Let's just walk through those phases right now, shall we?

First we have the actual recording, perhaps the most fun part of actually doing these playthroughs. To be honest, this would be a lot more fun if I actually had a program that could record for more than 17 minutes and 53 seconds. I know that Youtube videos are 11 minutes at most, but with Mario Party, you really don't want to stop and wait, especially when you have a laptop with very small hard-drive space. And before you computer nerds get in my face about getting an external hard-drive, let me just stop you and have Mario explain it in a way you would understand.....

While an external hard-drive would be nice, I just don't have the money, and my parents don't really want to give me money for something that they deem as unnecessary. Besides, I'm also saving up for other things that I would like to have as well. While I don't necessarily agree with my parents, I do agree with them in the sense that if I don't need it, I don't need it because this would be more for convenience. Anyways, I didn't actually start the filming of the board until like 3:45 on Friday. For once I actually had a very busy Friday as I had an exam I had to schedule for the date, and I had to move my car, which is not as easy as it sounds. Anyways, the basic procedure for filming MP5 was recording two 18-minute segments, going into Movie Maker, editing those segments down into Youtube length and saving them as WMVs, deleting the raw computer-stealing footage, putting the new video files onto a Flash drive, and then start recording the second two 18-minute blocks (and the conclusion) of the board. This process took easily 2 and a half hours at least (all of the saving and importing added on to this) and I wasn't done until about 6:30 or 7:00.

The importing, editing, and publishing, although time-consuming, is the easiest to work with. Mostly because while something is importing or saving, I can actually DO OTHER THINGS. I can get caught up with MegaFreak400's quest to find treasure, kill turquoise birds, and talk about the differences between Zelda: Four Swords and New Super Mario Bros. Wii for 10 minutes, or watch ShadowMario41 fail horribly at fighting berserkers. As for the editing, with the way I do it, I just match up the commentary with the game footage on the video timeline(easier than it sounds), adjust for 11 minutes (or close to 11 minutes), and then save it. Not very hard at all....

The uploading is perhaps the least hands-on, but it has the most opportunities to fail. Youtube is definitely far from perfect when it comes to uploading (if the administration and moderation wasn't crap enough). For one, uploads can fail! They may not be the fault of Youtube, and moreso your own connection, but still, it's annoying. Second, if you are uploading multiple videos, there are chances for some of your later videos to upload first. This actually hasn't happened to me very much as of late, but in the past, this occurrence was definitely the bane of my existence. Also...and I don't know how this happens...sometimes if your video is exactly 11 minutes (and sometimes just under), the video will be mistaken for over 11 minutes, and we know what Youtube does with those videos, don't we? REJECTION! Many people have said this, especially LPers, but why does Youtube have a time limit? Wouldn't file size be the bigger concern here? Thankfully though, uploading can be pretty fast, especially at college and high-speed connections, so even if something bad happens, it's just an extra 20 minutes of waiting, most of which can be used to watch other videos or play games or something.

Anyways, that's pretty much how the process goes. As you can see, the recording was pretty bad for me this time, due to all the variables had to deal with. And even when all that was said and done, I still had some recording glitches (at the end of Video #5 and start of #6), so even though I was pretty cautious with my recording, these stupid things are equally likely to happen regardless, which can be a kick in the face. Thankfully it was only 2 minutes worth of footage...

The waking up early, starting uploads, and then going back to sleep process I tried actually worked pretty well. I only got about 3 or 4 extra hours of sleep, and all 8 videos were up by the time I woke up, which is pretty impressive. Let me tell you guys though....on the weekends, 10 AM in the morning is EARLY for me. It really is. On the weekends, I try to sleep to noon, one, or two. Why? Because college classes drain my precious energy. I really do put a lot of work into my studies and my education, almost too much. Because of that, any chance I get to sleep or just relax, I take it, and that's all Im going to say about that!

As for the actual board (finally, we are actually getting to the video content....), damn was that a rollercoaster of "fun." I was definitely glad I was able to achieve victory, but man, I do not like doing it on the last turn during the bonus stars. I have a pretty good track record of getting those stars, but even when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, it's still just about luck, especially considering the annoying capsule system. Speaking of which, Mr. Blizzard, I hope you melt in a fire. Given, I was reluctant to use the Wiggler capsule at first anyways, but still, it would have been nice to have that back-up. Another thing that got me pretty bad was that warp pipe at the very beginning, which pretty much took me away from that first star. Then, after getting Blizzard'd, I had another chance to get a star, but I fell one space short...which happens a lot in the first boards of these playthroughs, ironically. Also, Scaldin Cauldron? That was a knee to the groin in every retrospect.

Either way, there were some upsides during this board. Unfortunately these moments seemed to happen at the very end of game. I will say though, it was nice to win that duel game and completely pwn everybody in coin amounts. =)

That's about all I really have to say about Toy Dream. Sorry I kind of just rambled on there, but I guess that is the point of blogging...or is it? I dunno, but that was definitely an interesting start to a new project, and Im sure some of you can agree.


New Project:

Ok, the LAST thing I want to talk about is my new project. First and foremost, the new project will begin on Wednesday, the 21st of October. I know I haven't been very clear in my videos, or in my channel description, but I can tell you that Wednesday is and will be, the day. I will reveal the game on Tuesday night with a revelation video, and then I'll have the first video sometime in the afternoon on Wednesday.

I will admit, I didn't organize the contest very well, but at least I can take this as a learning experience. Hell, I also learned that there is a "Pending Comment Approval" feature, something I had no idea even existed.

I will say though, I probably won't have a contest ever again on my channel. I really don't have that much to offer anyone. I'm not crazy about Let's Trys...shoutouts can only go so far...and while I do appreciate your support, Im not crazy enough about letting people I don't know very well do co-commentary with me on my videos. So as far as video-viewer interaction, I'll probably just stick to board polls in my MP playthroughs and if I ever have a situation like in Hit and Run with the clothing. That's all I really want to say about that.

Anyways, looking forward to getting this new project off the ground, and I hope you guys enjoy it!


Finally....and this is ironic because this actually happened while writing this blog....

"#82 - Most Viewed (Today) - Directors"

That may be the first channel honor I have gotten since I've been here at Youtube.! I am stunned and speechless. Thanks to everybody who made this possible! I really appreciate your support! =)

Actually, this isn't my first honors. Ironically, my video "I Pissed Off the Wrong Soda" had a really high number of views in Ireland on the day I uploaded. Why Ireland? Well, let's just say an acquaintance of Irish Captain Falcon....really enjoyed that video. :P

Still though...I really appreciate the support you guys! =)

That's about it for the update. I realize it's kind of long, but think of it as a way to make up for my lack of updates this week :P

And remember, the new blog adjustments take effect after this entry, so don't expect an update tomorrow.

- SlimKirby

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