The Return of Talking Time

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-   -   Let's Play Sandbox and Critique Thread (https://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?t=7689)

PapillonReel 04-14-2009 05:17 PM

Let's Play Sandbox and Critique Thread
 
I figure we could use a thread like this since we don't really have a place for formal critique in the subforum. Anyway, this thread is more along the lines of stylistic help rather than technical, so if you want to try a test post to work out the kinks in your Let's Play, or just want a solid critique on a thread that's already running, feel free to post here and ask for comments. Just remember to keep it polite, and roll with the punches if the criticism isn't entirely positive.

Falselogic 04-15-2009 01:00 PM

Serious question though: Is this only for solicited critiques or are unsolicited ones welcome as well?

PapillonReel 04-15-2009 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by falselogic (Post 447947)
Serious question though: Is this only for solicited critiques or are unsolicited ones welcome as well?

Solicited only, please. Having a thread for calling other writers out for their flaws leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, what with it being behind the back and all.

spineshark 04-15-2009 01:17 PM

I'd be interested in some thoughts on my LP's, especially ToP since I still have lots of time to do better on it. (I don't need to be told that I update too slow, I know and have bad excuses) Am I explaining things well enough? Should I try to be funnier? I feel like I write too much in general, but I also look at some of my posts and see a picture with one line of text or so and wonder if maybe I'm not writing enough about certain things.

McClain 04-15-2009 01:27 PM

I tend to leave feedback in the actual LP as it's going on... I'm not sure what could be said here that wouldn't be more useful there.

Rai 04-15-2009 01:35 PM

Ah, yeah, I'm curious as to what people are thinking as well. I know I haven't been the most.... punctual, but there should be enough entries for some decent criticism.

Octopus Prime 04-15-2009 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rai (Post 447982)
Ah, yeah, I'm curious as to what people are thinking as well. I know I haven't been the most.... punctual, but there should be enough entries for some decent criticism.

For what it's worth, as rare as the updates are, they're worth the wait.

DarkBlueFlannel 04-15-2009 02:10 PM

Should I be doing videos of the boss fights for MMBN? I was tempted to switch to a 85% video format (post-producing the random battles out), but I'm afraid that some people might prefer the screenshot version.

PapillonReel 04-15-2009 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spineshark (Post 447967)
I'd be interested in some thoughts on my LP's, especially ToP since I still have lots of time to do better on it. (I don't need to be told that I update too slow, I know and have bad excuses) Am I explaining things well enough? Should I try to be funnier? I feel like I write too much in general, but I also look at some of my posts and see a picture with one line of text or so and wonder if maybe I'm not writing enough about certain things.

Hmm... I don't really feel there's a problem with your commentary itself - you explain things clearly and your jokes fly well enough (Gnome Rockets!) - but rather it seems like you're skimming over a lot of stuff as you play through ToP. The boat scene, for example, really stands out since you jump right from Arche's dream scene to the fight with Mayer with only a small summary of events to fill in the context. It's good that you're summarizing, but I think you might be leaning a bit too much to the other extreme and a more in-depth look into the game might better benefit it in the long-run.

spineshark 04-15-2009 03:20 PM

Mmm, thanks. I don't really like writing the plot summaries in this game so much (I've really enjoyed the last couple updates) and that scene in particular I had a hard time figuring out, since the last thing it needs is me beating the jokes into the ground, plus I figured if any scene in the game would be recognized by most people it'd be that one. I'll keep that all in mind in the future though.

rockintomordor 04-15-2009 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkBlueFlannel (Post 448002)
Should I be doing videos of the boss fights for MMBN? I was tempted to switch to a 85% video format (post-producing the random battles out), but I'm afraid that some people might prefer the screenshot version.

Oh my goodness, yes. You should definitely have video boss fights, if nothing else. This would not only be entertaining, but it would give people who may not fully understand the combat system's pacing a glimpse into how it works, especially in boss battles, which tend to be the most varied and interesting.

Rai 04-15-2009 08:20 PM

I have a question. Two, actually. Who here is willing to try out a grand experiment before it turns into an actual LP?

The second related question is: Who here likes Fluxx?

(Also, it's good to hear that people are enjoying the updates. Very, very good. More input is always welcome though.)

Lucas 04-15-2009 09:16 PM

I would experiment, and I have played Fluxx before and wouldn't be opposed to playing it again in the name of science.

Alixsar 04-15-2009 09:30 PM

Ocarina of Time. What's wrong with it? I keep getting the feeling that something is missing, but I don't know if it's just me being a perfectionist or if it really is. I think I swear too much (in the videos anyway). Which is weird, since I don't really swear THAT much...but beyond that, what's wrong with it? What would you like to see more or less of?

Elfir 04-16-2009 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rai (Post 448227)
I have a question. Two, actually. Who here is willing to try out a grand experiment before it turns into an actual LP?

The second related question is: Who here likes Fluxx?

Yes and yes. Have played Fluxx original and Monty Python Fluxx.

Chrononauts would be another interesting card game to attempt.

DarkBlueFlannel 04-16-2009 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alixsar (Post 448265)
Ocarina of Time. What's wrong with it? I keep getting the feeling that something is missing, but I don't know if it's just me being a perfectionist or if it really is. I think I swear too much (in the videos anyway). Which is weird, since I don't really swear THAT much...but beyond that, what's wrong with it? What would you like to see more or less of?

I feel the same way about MMBN, well, except the swearing part. I've come to grips with the fact that, no matter how I do it, some people will like it more and others won't. But, I really don't want serious criticism, at this point, I don't think I'm man enough to accept. For one, I think you're doing a really good job. But, I understand that mentality that keeps telling you that you could do better.

About the swearing, if you think you swear too much then stop. I've read some on SA's archive that have so much that I started questioning the creator's intelligence. But, yours is nowhere near that point.

Elfir 04-16-2009 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alixsar (Post 448265)
Ocarina of Time. What's wrong with it? I keep getting the feeling that something is missing, but I don't know if it's just me being a perfectionist or if it really is. I think I swear too much (in the videos anyway). Which is weird, since I don't really swear THAT much...but beyond that, what's wrong with it? What would you like to see more or less of?

It's great, except that I can't watch videos at work and thus only catch up every couple weeks. I don't think you swear too much, though after Brickroad's careful avoidance of swearing it stands out a bit by comparison.

Kirin 04-16-2009 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockintomordor (Post 448147)
Oh my goodness, yes. You should definitely have video boss fights, if nothing else. This would not only be entertaining, but it would give people who may not fully understand the combat system's pacing a glimpse into how it works, especially in boss battles, which tend to be the most varied and interesting.

It's good to keep in mind, though, that videos (or at least, going video-exclusive) will limit the audience. Quite a few people read the forum from someplace where watching videos is impossible or problematic, or are trying to read quickly and you can't really speed-read a video.

OTOH, if DBF kept the level of boss description currently in the thread and *added* videos, that would be gravy. Optional videos (where the thread is still understandable without them) are sweet.

DeeMer 04-17-2009 07:48 PM

This may just be a personal thing, but I'm finding I just don't have time to watch the videos; TT already takes me about 2.5 hours to catch up with every other night and I only get 4 hours of free time a day, so I wouldn't mind less videos and more on text work.

Alixsar 04-17-2009 09:30 PM

Well, I try to limit videos to really special moments in the game where screenshots wouldn't do it justice (mostly boss fights but a few other spots as well)...but I have made some in the past that I felt were a bit unnecessary. Alright, I can tone it down a bit.

The Dread Cthulhu 04-18-2009 12:36 AM

I feel like there's something missing in Soul Blazer. I don't know if it's the audience participation, or if it's just entires have to be pretty samey due to the 'kill monsters, seal lair, release soul' nature of the game. Would it be improved by putting that into an appendix or something?

DarkBlueFlannel 04-18-2009 11:20 AM

I tried doing a video version of my upcoming Entry #8. Either I don't have the right abilities or the game just isn't conducive to it but I couldn't get it to work without long gaps of Lan standing still while I talked. It's probably better this way.

I'll try it with just boss battles, though, and see how that goes.

Eddie 04-20-2009 08:36 PM

Hey! I wanted to let everyone know that I made a workaround for that whole 'left-aligned centering' thing I was trying to do. For example:




Ramza: Why...?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Delita's name appears for
the first time a year before
the Lion War broke out.

Many soldiers who returned from the war,
had no jobs, little money,
and even less loyalty to the crown.

Many became thieves and
rebels plotting rebellion
against the royal family.

At that time robbery and
murder were commonplace in Ivalice.
Many heroes and
wizards came out of there.
And Gariland was no exception either.






(Scene: A group of students are gathered in an meeting
hall, gossiping to each other about the latest news. A
young Ramza and Delita are among them. They are the
future members of the Hokuten Knights.)






Cadet: Must have been the Death Corps...
Of course it's still not a PERFECT solution; the centered italicized stuff from the second graph will look very strange on a resolution that isn't 1024x768. The rest should look fine tho.

Anyway, in case anyone wants to know how to do it (and is too lazy to quote my post to find out), you can use the [/indent]code to do it.

I also wanted to mention that while I did get a few people asking for larger screenshots, I think I'm going to stick to the 400x300 size you see above. I think it just looks the best stylistically.

Can't wait for my chance to jump in the queue!

- Eddie

Brickroad 04-20-2009 08:42 PM

Re: swearing in videos.

Personally, I think it's tacky. I've seen a couple LPs where cuss words are just a natural part of the player's dialogue and so it fits just fine, but the majority use bad words for giggles or because they can't think of anything else to say. I've seen way too many videos that replace "um" with "fuckin'". Observe:

"I just... fuckin'... was trying to get that fuckin'... that power-up and fuckin'... a fish jumps out of fuckin' NOWHERE and fuckin' knocks me in the hole. Fuck! That kind of shit... fuckin'... fuckin' pisses me off."

Aside from that, though, I always envision some kid finding one of my videos on YouTube and thinking it's funny and then showing it to their parents. That has probably never happened ever but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside thinking about it.

For my part, I believe willing myself to keep the language clean forces me to focus more on what I'm saying, so not only do I not have a potty mouth but I really feel like I ramble less and have less worthless dead air. (I'm probably completely wrong about that though.)

Zaidyer 04-20-2009 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brickroad (Post 452113)
Re: swearing in videos.

Agreed on all points. You can be so much more verbose and interesting when you're trying to avoid it.
Hey, it works for me.

TK Flash 04-21-2009 09:22 AM

Re: Soul Blazer

I think the general nature of the game leaves little room for audience participation. I am truly enjoying Soul Blazer so don't get discouraged. I personally would like to hear a bit more on why SB is a special game to you as you go through it.

PapillonReel 04-23-2009 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eddie (Post 452105)
Final Fantasy Tactics

I like what you're planning for the game, but you should just drop the centering entirely, honestly. No one really cares if the text stretches past the edge of the screenshot, so the extra formatting just looks weird compared to the standard left-align text, to say nothing of the wasted effort you'd have to go through with each write-up in the first place. There's really nothing to be gained from the formatting, so don't worry about how it looks when written up normally.

Lucas 05-09-2009 08:09 PM

I have a problem with my Escape Velocity LP in that I really don't feel I'm doing the game justice. The magic - or at least the initial attraction - of it is largely in the action, but that's next to impossible to convey in still images. Gifs could help with that, but combat tends to be either a boring negligible cakewalk or a thrilling seat-of-your-pants adventure, and during the latter I can't spare the fingers to hit the screenshot button (my keyboard can only handle three keys being pressed at one time; working the thrusters takes up two keys leaving only one key for combat controls and screenshots, which isn't enough by a long shot).

The bottom line of all this is that while I'm weaving between railgun shots and outwitting missile tracking systems while fighting off pirates and everyone else, my loyal readers are only getting boring walls of text. I've been trying to figure out a way improve on this, but the best solution I've come up with so far is to somehow take video of combat and post it to youtube with annotations dart_zaidyer-style (assuming youtube videos can show enough detail to let people know what's going on).

I could set irfanview to automatically take screenshots and make a lot of animated gifs, but I'd have to be willing to either let it take a thousand or two useless pictures each session or constantly switch it between auto and manual screenshotting, neither of which is an especially exciting prospect (if there was a key command to toggle that without having to open up irfanview, that would be gravy; haven't found one yet though). I'd appreciate any suggestions.

McClain 05-09-2009 08:18 PM

I have no problem with swearing in videos, in general, but I don't like it when "Fuck" is used every other word. But I feel the same way about people saying "like" over and over again, so it has less to do with saying fuck and more to do with speaking well. Not everyone can do live commentary. If you need to, take the time to write down what you want to say first, or just record dialogue later.

I really like the videos. Brick's doing a great job with his high-speed demonstrations. I only kind of wish you would do a running thread like with the Ocarina of Time LP (though that is hybrid, not all video.). It would be fun to be able to follow along and talk about it between videos (though I know that wouldn't work with a lot of the stuff you are doing high-speed). Just an idea. There are LPs that are meant to show off and there are LPs that are meant to be a discussion, so maybe there's something you can do on video that we can discuss along the way.

Pajaro Pete 06-08-2009 07:26 PM

Hey, this is unsolicited, but its kinda open to everyone because I've noticed it in a bunch of places:

At the end of an update, could you guys put some sort of conclusion? Just a little something to let the readers know the update is over. A lot of times they just sorta end and it's hard to discern if its just a post break because of image/character limit or if you're done with the update.

I'm not asking for a whole lot, just a little "Next Time: WACKY THINGS HAPPEN" or "To be continued..."

Also: Criticism is welcome on either I've done, so I'll know what not to do when I finally start a new one. Commenting on the quality of the translation in the Persona LP isn't that helpful, since I clearly bit off more than I could chew and vastly underestimated the difference between understanding and translating.


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