In the last week or so, we’ve decided to try out a new website we came across called Game Anyone?
It’s a website specifically dedicated to Let’s Playing, with video uploading/sharing videos already uploaded elsewhere, forums and lots of other interesting stuff.
I particularly like the view it gives you when you watch a video, where it shows you on the right side what game is being played, its box art, platform and other data etc. And then the playlist underneath for navigation. It has a good layout.
While obviously not as popular as the huge place that is YouTube I think it has some really good ideas, so we’ll be giving it a go from now on, and seeing where the website goes. I also appreciate a proper understanding of Fair Use, which Google isn’t fantastic at managing for everyday people, and does have a bad habit of prioritising other businesses.
The other interesting video I wanted to talk about real quick is Peter’s Camera Hack demonstrations.
The most recent one up on our channel is from our Silent Hill 4 Let’s Play, and I think it’s really interesting what it shows, in terms of…how they do things to put the game together.
So, here’s the video:
One of the first things in the bedroom window, where it shows how…looking outside the window works, so there’s a little box outside the window with a low resolution view, so when you click the window to actually look at it, what you’re looking at is something else, that’s rendered elsewhere, it isn’t part of the main room level/model. The same is true for the front door.
We then look through all of the pictures which is the more interesting part, the reflections on the pictures aren’t done with some fancy programmed reflective surface, there is actually just another version of the room on the other side of the picture, blurred and low resolution to look like the reflection. These extra rooms are also just the complete room, rather than specifically what the game developers were sure you’d need to see in the picture frame. These box rooms also change in colour along with the day night cycle that happens throughout the game.
Each of the rooms in the apartment exists separately, so we have the door loading thing.
We also got to see the dismembered/dis-embodied head right at the end there, and how it simply pops in and pops out when it’s in and out of view of the player (usually).
I think the room reflections part is the most interesting part, essentially. Especially compared to the previous Camera Hack video for Silent Hill 2, which I’ll add here:
In this video you can see that the whole room’s and character models are reproduced whenever there is a mirror, in actually quite high resolution. So in rooms with mirrors, there are actually two rendered rooms, and two rendered characters that you are controlling at the same time to get a really high quality mirror effect.
As an aside you can see the how to/how it was done video for the Cam Hack here.
The video starts off the same as our previous trailer, reiterating our reasons for doing the LP (the HD collection), our problems with the HD collection etc. And then it shows off a bit, how we’ve made the LP possible, compared to the original game.
The videos that we post on YouTube are the polished final version involving lots of post production. The game does not look like that when we play it. We’re playing the PC versions of these games as they offer the most ease of use in what exactly we want to produce. We apply widescreen patches and various other changes to make these games run in 16:9 HD, but without…overly weird stretched looking models, weird stretched menu’s and maps and what not (as widescreen patches don’t fix those). And wonderful sound.
One of the things I also want to mention is the sound editing, while YouTube is obviously very visual in format, a lot of sound editing goes into our LP’s as well, which is the thing I’m mainly in charge of. We clear up all the un-necessary side talk, clear out all or most of the weird breaths, mouth noises, clicks, background noises etc. One of the other things that’s important to do it make sure the volumes are always right, that the game isn’t too loud, or too quite, and that neither are our voices.
The most fantastic thing, I think, about this, is doing that is very simple. I sound edit with a program called Audacity, which has this wonderful feature called “Auto Duck” which you apply to the game sound, (rather than mine and Peter’s separately recorded vocal track) and it turns the volume down of the game track by a percentage (but it’s still hear-able) when there is sound in the other track – us speaking. This makes the whole thing really watch-able, if you’ve ever struggled to listen to what someone is saying over the sound of the game, this is what they should be doing!
Now that I’ve written a fair amount, you can look out for the other video I’m going to talk about in another post!
It has been a while since I posted a video post thing of keeping up to date with the YouTube videos which is very important, so here we go some videos of Silent Hill 4 with myself (Michaela/StudiousOctopus) and Peter talking all over the place over it. Yeah.