Whether you’re writing a comment, or you’re writing a blog post, etiquette is hugely important. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and tell them “that’s a terrible pair of shoes.” You wouldn’t tell a random person “Your hair looks funny.” I’d hope you wouldn’t turn down an invitation to a birthday by standing on a podium in front of a large group of people and say “I will not be attending this!” It’s rude, it’s unnecessary – But I think the technology we have is in part to blame.
Recently, a colleague of mine asked me to well “retrain her” on web development skills, as she knows about my web ventures with GeekOut South-West. Naturally then, I figured this was a perfect opportunity for me to retrain her not just for her benefit, but for my own. As such, I figured I’d write an article about what I’m doing to retrain her – and most importantly, how this can benefit anyone with any skill. Continue reading Skills Development: On Retraining
Ever considered a job in content creation? Dream of being the next big gaming news website? If so, look away, as this article is a no holds barred discussion on running a website that gets thousands of visitors. This isn’t going to be pretty, as I share the ups and downs of running a website on WordPress, the most popular blogging platform. Boy, did I ever make a lot of mistakes?
Continue reading Behind The Scenes: Running A Website and Meetup
I mentioned some time ago that I had plans for Gunpla projects, specifically some custom paintjobs. I spoke of my idea to turn the Freedom Gundam, the first model I built—not the V2 I built later—into a Decepticon, using a healthy amount of purple and metallic paints. I also spoke of my plans of overhauling the Deathscythe Hell build, since I was unhappy with the out-of-the-box kit.
That’s the model I’m talking about today as I’ve recently finished customising it. Continue reading Custom Gunpla – Beargguy III GeekOut Ver.
With Tekken 7 coming to a console near you soon, you can be sure the fighting-game giant is about to get an even bigger roster than ever before. From the swaths of fighting styles of which we’ve become accustomed, to the characters we haven’t seen for a long time, Tekken is promising something truly amazing in fighting games.
But how did it all begin? Continue reading The History of Tekken
I know, you’re expecting a follow up to the Tokusatsu post from yesterday, but that’s coming tomorrow. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t talk today about my amazing weekend, where I visited a new city for the first time and attended my first ever GeekOut South-West meetup, something I’ve been wanting to do for years now, but distance and resources had always been in the way. But now that I’m living in England, nothing could stop me from going. Continue reading Geeks in Bristol – My First GeekOut South-West Meetup!
Last year, around the time of Rezzed 2015 I decided that after two years of doing pretty much nothing with The Mental Attic it was time for a change. At the time, my life had changed considerably. I was going through some rough stuff, which I mentioned here in the past, I had moved to Ireland after failing to move to England and I had yet to find a job in Dublin. The Mental Attic and its success or failure became crucial for me, it was a lifeline when I had none.
Last week while finishing up the articles for the Rezzed coverage I realised that it had been a full year since that moment, since I decided to keep The Mental Attic on a five article a week schedule, one that I’ve managed to keep going with only minor hiccups, such as the week I took after the Extra Life charity event, because I was too exhausted to write anything. But I’m only one guy, don’t have any help with the site—not yet anyway—so I do what I can. Continue reading The Road So Far – April 2016
Last year’s Rezzed was my first one, first time heading to the Tobacco Docks to see dozens of indie developers and their creations, book interviews and come in with press credentials. Last year, as I intended to use Rezzed as the first step in my push for The Mental Attic, I overbooked and spent time running around from one interview to another.
This year I decided to book fewer interviews going for the stuff that really caught my attention and, because it was a new one for me, the games for which the developers, publishers or public relations officials contacted me personally. This is not me being humble, and you can ask my friends—if you can find them—it really isn’t, but I’m not the guy people recognise, I’m not used to video game industry professionals contacting me directly to set up interviews or even telling me they follow The Mental Attic, that’s something that happens to my friends and colleagues but not me. But for this Rezzed it happened, more than once, and it still as new for me now as it was at the start of the event.
It’s that time of year again isn’t it? It’s Rezzed time, baby!
For those of you who don’t know Rezzed is a yearly gaming event, the little brother to the massive EGX—formerly Euro-Gamer Expo—with a greater focus on independent developers and titles. It starts today and will run until Saturday at the Tobacco Docks in London. Continue reading Rezzed 2016 Kickoff!
As you may know, for the past few months I’ve been recording Let’s Play videos under the name LawfulGeek Plays. I’ve had a few fun runs and will hopefully have a lot more in the future, as I really enjoy it and I’m learning a lot, not just on hosting videos but the editing of them as well.
If you’re thinking of doing this yourself, there’s a good chance you won’t know where to start, or you might doubt your skills. The only way to truly know if you’re suited for this—and I still don’t know, by the way, maybe I really suck at it—is to give it a go and see what happens, but on the software side, editing and recording, maybe my good buddy Timlah (from GeekOut South-West) and I can give you a hand.
These are the tools we use to record our videos and edit them if we need to.
To record my videos I use the same software as when I stream on the LawfulGeek Twitch channel: XSplit or OBS. I have hotkeys mapped to start and stop local recordings easily, even while playing, and a large external drive to hold the videos.
For these I merely set up the scenes, put in my sources and just hit record and stop as I go along. I have a fair amount scenes set up, some for streaming and others for recording. I also always have my mobile phone on hand as a stopwatch, to make sure I end the episodes at the 15-minute mark.
In terms of audio while recording, both XSplit and OBS record the audio along with the video but I use Auto-Ducking in Real Time to lower the in-game volume while I talk, as I want the audience to enjoy the in-game audio while I’m not talking. It’s not a perfect system, of course, and I make plenty of mistakes, but it works for me so far. At least I haven’t received any negative feedback on the use of audio ducking.
For video recording software, I use something called SimpleScreenRecorder (Yes, in one word). This piece of software has a few special features that make it really useful to me. One of the features is the ability to pick the window that you want to record, rather than recording the whole window. This means that I don’t have to fiddle around with resolutions or anything during the editing stage. Another useful feature is the ability to set profiles, so I have one for my recordings and one for streaming. Finally, I also use SimpleScreenRecorder to capture in-game audio.
For voice recording, I simply use Audacity to capture my vocals separately. I can then edit my vocals, remove any stupid noises (which I’ve found that I make a lot of those) and also make any necessary edits. If I want to stretch a word out for emphasis on a video, I can do so through Audacity. It’s also nice keeping this separate to the video, as if you lose one, you don’t lose both of them!
My editing experience is fairly limited, and only recently did I start working on videos after they’re done. For the most part I don’t edit videos very often, as I keep a tight-ish leash on what I do while recording and leave it as is. Since I record audio and video together, there’s no need to sync them up afterwards.
But if I have to edit, at the moment I’m using Lightworks—free edition. I’m still learning to use it and it’s not the most intuitive of tools. But it is very precise and I can edit down to the smallest of frames. My latest edits have all been cuts, removing unnecessary parts of videos, such as ten minutes of back-to-back deaths in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and some in an upcoming Darksiders episode where the game crashed. I managed to join the second before the crash and the moment I returned to that spot almost seamlessly, and on the first go. I’m quite proud of that to be honest.
As I work on more videos I think of more ways to edit, particularly since Timlah does such an amazing job with his videos, it pushed me to do better!
In the coming months, I’ll probably switch to Adobe Premiere, which I’ve used in the past and liked a lot.
Kdenlive is my editor of choice, which I’m slowly learning more about as I go along. When I started, I didn’t know what a title screen was, thinking it was literally just for a title, rather than to add words to my videos. I’ve learned about transitions and overlays, as well as how to make images and words spin around. I’ve learned how to make things wobble and how to make images bounce across the screen.
Kdenlive allows me to go right down to an individual frame and work off that. I am very particular about this, as during my videos, I like to add a “hit”, “miss” and “block” onto the screen whenever these actions occur. By going down to the very frame, I can make these words appear exactly when the action happens.
So those are our tools of choice. If I were to mention something else, it would be: get a good microphone, as audio quality is paramount. It’s not software but it will have an impact on everything you do.
If you use different tools, let us know in the comments, we’re always keen to learn new things!