It has been about a month since our last update, and oh boy is there a lot to talk about!
First and foremost, after nearly 14 months of planning Meesh and I are finally getting married! It has been a long journey(especially for Meesh who has been putting the team(aka me) on her back from a planning standpoint), but we are in the final days of the process and we couldn’t be more excited. Once we’ve tied the knot, we are not wasting any time and will be flying out to start our honeymoon two days later.
From a website and channel standpoint that means that content creation will be stopping for a bit. Fortunately I was able to quickly push out a decent bit of content which should hopefully last you a few weeks. However I wont be recording any more videos until after we return from paradise.
So with that out of the way… lets talk about the past, present, and future of Grow Up And Game.
Video – Site Blog Update
I’ve decided to experiment with the site update format a bit, and recorded a companion video to go along with this article. The major points will still be covered in this article, but in the video you’ll get a more “long form” version of my thoughts on things. Lastly, this video will also serve as a way to update those who exclusively watch my youtube content and don’t know that this website exists.
Youtube Channel Updates
As you’ve probably noticed at this point, I’ve been on a bit of a tear from a recording stand-point. I’ll be honest I’m having way more fun recording than I am writing, but I have no intentions of putting down my pen any time soon.
It turns out, that me indexing and recapping all of my videos has been an extremely effective way for me to improve the quality of my videos. While I don’t want to dissuade anybody from watching them, I have definitely noticed that a lot of my earlier videos are very… disorganized. This is because for a while my plan was to try and keep things “genuine” by blindly jumping into each episode with little to no preparation. Having reviewed the content with that type of YOLO methodology, I have decided to scrap that approach entirely for both Satisfactory and Tavern Tycoon.
There are several reasons I am doing this. The first is that neither of those games, especially Satisfactory, is well suited for that type of knee-jerk content. Both games are slow burning and methodical. If I’m not careful I can spend an hours recording a session and not accomplish anything meaningful in game. However, I do want to avoid straight up rehearsing my recordings, so I opted for an approach that is somewhere in-between.
Moving forward, the first thing I’ll be doing before recording is defining the beginning, middle, and end of the session. Sometimes this means I need to peek behind the curtain and see what new features and challenges that game is about to present. Once I have an idea of what needs to be done, I revert back to my pre-determined starting point, and take it from there.
While this revision has definitely improved the over-all quality of the videos, I am fully aware that I still have a long way to go. However, thus far my journey into video has been a very enjoyable one, and I have no intentions of slowing it down.
Satisfactory Early Access Updates
The moment the Alpha weekend ended, I was chomping at the bit to play more Satisfactory. Fortunately I only had to wait a little over a week before the game went into Early Access. Once I was able to log back in, I wasted no time and over the course of the next few weeks was able to produce 8 videos.
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 01: Planetfall
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 02: The Space Elevator
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 2.5: Improving Efficiency by Splitting and Merging
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 03: Chainsaw Bushwhacking
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 04: Let’s Build A Multi-level Factory
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 05: Faster Conveyor Belts and Poor Reading Comprehension
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 06: Coal Runnings
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 07: Perfect Copper Chain and Vehicle Automation
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 08: Building Vertical and Project Assembly Framework
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 09: Drilling For Oil and Hard Drives
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 9.5(Bonus Episode): Oil Automation and Truck Routes
- Satisfactory Early Access – Episode 10: The Jetpack, Manufacturing, and The Edge of The World
Pre-planning episodes has been especially important when recording Satisfactory videos. This is because often times after you complete an upgrade, the next areas of interest are gated behind a lot of items that take a long time to produce. I actually ended up dropping several recordings because no matter what way I sliced it, I always ended up parked at a work bench trying to quickly complete key upgrades. Instead of publishing that type of samey content, I opted to complete those tasks between sessions. This has helped me keep the videos fresh, and more importantly at a reasonable length.
I am almost to the end of the current Early Access material, however Coffee Stain is planning on dropping a new patch right around the time I am getting married. So once I get back from my honeymoon I will be able to hit the ground running.
While I definitely want to finish my let’s play series, I am also toying around with the idea of creating some tutorial videos for new players. However, I’ll need to do an analysis of existing tutorial content on-line before I commit to it. While I strongly believe I could help new players, I also don’t want to bother re-inventing the wheel if someone else has already produced quality tutorials.
Tavern Tycoon Updates
I have to admit, I’m kind of surprised I’m finishing this series out. My Tavern Tycoon content was only meant to be a way for me to cut my teeth recording videos, and it actually ended up becoming the best of my initial series’.
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 02: Everything Is On Special
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 03: My Tavern, My Rules
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 04: Winter Is Coming
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 05: Dungeon Is Not An Exception
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 06: Garden of Zen
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 07: Pirate Bay of Blue Seas
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 08: Graveyard Happy Hour
- Tavern Tycoon – Episode 09: Nothing Is On Special
Part of the reason I think my Tavern Tycoon videos are better than my Satisfactory series is that the nature of Tavern Tycoon’s gameplay insulted me from some of my early recording mistakes. Because the game is broken up into stages, each recording had a pre-defined beginning, middle, and end. Furthermore, the challenging nature of the game resulted in a more interesting and dramatic product.
However, one challenge I had to overcome in Tavern Tycoon is the fact that levels can sometimes take several hours to complete. I considered splitting the sessions up into multiple videos, however in the end I decided to take a more organized approach.
When I reviewed the longer videos, I noticed that the issue wasn’t really the length, just the uncertainty around whether or not the next few minutes were going to be worth watching. To combat this issue I decided to build an episode index of cool, funny, or interesting moments throughout the video. The idea is that if someone is starting to grow tired of what is happening on-screen, they can check the index to see what events are on the horizon, and skip ahead if they so desire.
As far as I can tell this approach is bearing fruit. In the short time since I’ve added the indexs to the videos, the average watch length of each video has gone up XXXXXXX amount. This information is enough for me to know that creating the episode index should be a standard part of my process. On top of improving retention, the index also serves as a great way for me to improve my craft long term. The exercise of finding interesting points in the video is critical by nature, so whenever I review an episode and notice there aren’t many bookmarks, that means I probably need to re-think how I am approaching that type of content.
Last but not least, much like with Satisfactory, I am also considering creating some how-to and primer material for Tavern Tycoon. I have noticed that it can be difficult to find decent content around how individual mechanics work. I was thinking something along the lines of a 10 to 15 minute video giving some tips and recommendations without outright telling you the right way to do things.
Dungeons and Dragons Updates
As expected, lately I have been pulling back on my older content streams in favor of the videos. However, I have not eliminated them all-together yet.
- The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 28: Avert Your Eyes
- Dungeons and Data – An Analysis of The First 15 Sessions of The Tanius Campaign
Long term, My goal is to catch my campaign journal up on the live campaign. At this point I am about 20 sessions behind, but I have detailed notes and numbers for every session, so I should be able to reconstruct the story no matter when I write it. I hope to pick up the pace on the journals once the wedding is over and I should have a lot more free-time.
This is going to be my last post until after my honeymoon. My current thought process is that once the honeymoon ends, I’ll catch up on video content, then re-balance to include more written content as well.
That all being said, I expect things to start a bit slowly when I get back. I’ll need to catch up on project work at my day job, and the house has been slowly turning into a war zone as we have opted to spend time planning the wedding over maintaining the home.
Lastly, while I firmly believe that things won’t be that different once the wedding is finally over(as Meesh and I have lived together for nearly 3 years now), I would be completely naive to think that my weekly cadence will go 100% back to normal. What I am trying to say is that if suddenly I fall off the grid, it is likely that I am just adjusting to married life, however my hope is to pick things back up in a big way as soon as it makes sense to do so.
But until then, I’ll talk to y’all again after I finish becoming a married man. 🙂
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or thoughts about life, or whatever; feel free to reach out to me on Twitter via @GrowUpAndGame!
Thank you for reading, and I hope everyone has a great rest of their day, week, month, year, and life!