I was talking with my family over dinner about my process for walkthrough creation, and it dawned on me that there are 3 very specific steps in the process.
Step 1: Exploration. The first time through a level or game, it’s all about figuring out HOW to beat it. Whether it is a tricky level late in a game or a point and click adventure, the first step towards showing others how to beat it is to do so yourself. This is not always easy, and I often find myself trying many different methods in an attempt to find the correct one. For point and clicks, this usually involves randomly clicking everywhere in the game with everything in my inventory, along with trying to combine anything with something else… whatever I can do to progress in the usually linear nature of the game. In level-based puzzle games, this means trying every route available or clicking pieces in every possible combination or firing a projectile at many different angles/strengths. The goal is always the same… find a way to solve the level/game.
Step 2: Memorization. Once you know how to beat a level or game, you need to do it in a way that clearly shows others how to do it as well. In a level-based game, you want the solution to each level to be fluid. You do not want pauses, mistakes, backtracks, misclicks, or extra moves shown… this will confuse someone trying to copy you. The same is true in a full-game video. To do this, you need to run through the game or level multiple times until you have it memorized and can do it without making a mistake. I will often record my memorization playthroughs, as I will do them without a break to keep the solutions fresh in my mind. Then, when I have it down, I easily transition from memorization into the 3rd step…
Step 3: Optimization. This goes hand in hand with memorization, but merits its own step. Memorization has no specified number of attempts to it, but when it is done correctly, it IS the Optimized run that I will upload. It is also during the memorization runs that I will look to fine-tune my method, so that the final optimized product is as flawless and close to optimal as possible. A walkthrough should not just show the solution, it should be of a level of success and mastery that people strive to match or surpass it. Anyone can record themselves beating a game; a walkthrough should be something you’re proud of… an accomplishment of your victory over that particular game.
Well, that’s at least how I do it.
So crazy to think… amazing really. For a walkthrough to have so many views. This is the only level’s walkthrough hit 3 million views today. Yay!
Use Boxmen will hit 2 million very shortly as well.
Don’t think I’ll have any new 7 digit milestone posts for a while. Oh well.
Bidding ended last week, and the game is now LIVE on GamesButler.com. Big thanks to Dom for the sponsorship, quick payment, and quick add to his site.
And, of course, if you need help… here’s the walkthrough. But be warned, you may accidentally see the solutions to levels other than the one you want.
The original list is from February. A lot has changed since then. There are 17 new videos in the Top 100. The 100th video viewcount increased from 58k to 93k. Total views from the Top 100 has increased from 22 mil to 33 mil. But other things remain the same… Armor is well in first, with BubbleBox still solidly second. Joey Betz is still my top dev, but John Cooney and Eugene Karataev are gaining. And the % of views from the Top 100 has decreased from 81% to 76%.
Didn’t get a chance to post about it yet, but I hit 500 videos last week with my 2nd half walkthrough of Pipol Smasher. Not too shabby, although I had 410 on Jan 6th, which means I’ve only uploaded 91 videos in the past 6 months. This makes sense though, since in early 2009 I was uploading walkthroughs to any game I could find. Now, I’m only uploading walkthroughs where I can monetize them.
Also had a 5th video hit 1 million views, and a 6th that should hit 1 million today (999,000 as of midnight).
Are there any statistics/data that you guys would like me to show? I plan to do an update of Top Sponsors / Devs by views later this month.
My first game is up for bid on FlashGameLicense.com (FGL). Ditloid is a word-based logic puzzle game where you are given a number and the 1st letter of each of the words in the problem, then you have to deduce what the puzzle is. Such as 60 S in a M would be 60 seconds in a minute. The game features 100 levels spread across 3 difficulties. There are 2 forms of in-game hints, plus a walkthrough. All 100 levels are open from the start, and you can freely skip from 1 to the next. The game IS hard; it’s not something you’re going to complete in 1 sitting… it’s a game where you take a few puzzles with you, and maybe the answer to one of them pops into your head 3 hours later with a sense of “ooooh! nice.” and accomplishment.
Anyway, hopefully it sells for some good money. Krayz did a great job on the programming and dealing with my never-ending list of bugs and changes.
Since tons of people want to know about FFR… I got an email from Synth last night that he was indisposed and would hopefully have the site up by Monday. So we’ll see.
Over the weekend, I had my 4th video hit 1 million views. This is the first video to hit 1+ mil that is not a fully self-contained walkthrough; instead, it is 50% of my Wake the Royalty walkthrough. The other half has 944k views and should hit 1 million sometime this summer.
Recently, the total viewcount on YouTube has been lagging. It seems to only update every few days. So I’ve been tracking my viewcount through TubeMogel instead, which is not QUITE as accurate on the short-term, but is fairly damn accurate long-term. All TubeMogel does is take a snapshot of the viewcount on each video at midnight, then sums them all together for your account total. This is dependent on YouTube updating the counts, which is why it’s often off in the short-term… but it evens out to be only a very small margin of error in the long-term. That explanation aside, My viewcount on TubeMogel as of Midnight this morning was 39,950,000… which means sometime today I hit 40 million total views. Yay!
My desktop is still in the shop, for exactly 1 week now. Going to call tomorrow to see what’s going on. Tass is starting to get the DTs from sexy computer withdraw. Sadly, I’m going to have to be without my desktop again in 2 weeks. The moving truck is taking all our stuff on June 22nd, and is not expected to arrive in Philly until June 29th. That means 1 more full week with the craptop. *sigh*.
Oh… and in other news. My big game project has basically been on hold the past week because of the desktop issue. Which sucks. Probably won’t hit FGL until July at this rate. However, I’m designing another quick satirical game with Benologist; but because of both of us being busy this month, that won’t see the light of day until July either.
On Sunday, I woke up to a borked desktop. This sucked. I tried doing some basic troubleshooting, but it did not work… and because I’m terrible with hardware and my desktop is like my child… I didn’t want to mess with it too much. It’s under warranty, however the company is not open on Sundays (and was also closed for Memorial Day).
So I set my alarm for 8:30 this morning, so that I could call them nice and early and get my comp down to them ASAP. I called them and explained the situation. They said I could bring it in and they’d fix it. The place is in Pasadena, which is 44 miles away as per Google. It took 80 minutes, leaving at 9:15am… gotta love LA traffic. By 10:55, they diagnosed it as motherboard failure and they did not have a replacement in stock, but that new ones were already on order. So I said ok, and now have to sit and wait until they call me to say the mobos are in and that my sexiness is fixed.
I also had a lunch meeting with Troy/Maldon/Dawnerd scheduled for 12:30 in Santa Monica, which I wasn’t sure whether I’d make because of the computer. Since I was done in Pasadena by 11, I headed off to Santa Monica, which is 35 miles from Pasadena, as per Google. That took about 50 minutes; got in right around noon. My bowels were troubling me greatly, so I used the time to find a public bathroom… which is much harder to do than one would expect, as Santa Monica has tons and tons of foot traffic. I wound up meeting up with Troy at 12:40 and we grabbed Subway and chatted for about 45 minutes on the future of FFR and life in general. We’re both on the same page, and I think we have the basics of a deal worked out. This is good.
Then I needed to get back from Santa Monica to the Valley (San Fernando). Google was telling me to take the 405, which was displaying RED for traffic most of the way. I decided to take the PCH and Topanga Canyon instead, which probably took the same amount of time (40 minutes), but is peaceful, scenic, and fun to drive.
And now I am home, on Whorli’s laptop, trying to quickly download my video recording/editing software so that I can re-make a walkthrough that is stuck on my desktop and needs to be ready for a game’s release tomorrow. *sigh*.
My Game is progressing. Getting the art coordinated is proving to be quite challenging, and a slow process. Hard to judge how the programming is going, but I’m being assured that it’s mostly done. Custom music is also progressing slowly.
I’ve been talking to Synth a decent bit recently, and we’re looking at a June 18th re-launch of the site. Synth believes that all data will be recovered.
Walkthroughs are continuing, steadily. My daily views seem to be constant above 80k/day, which is good. Would be nice if I could get that up over 100k.
Was offered some level design work on Crush the Castle 2, which I accepted initially… but after about an hour working on it, it was pretty clear that my cbf level outweighs the offered cash. Those castles are just so damn intricate. So many small details to them. Instead, I wrote up some general level ideas that hopefully will be useful to Joey.
Life is moving quickly. Less than 1 month until all my stuff gets shipped back east, and 1 month until we fly away from LA. Will have to start packing shortly. We have a new kitten, which complicates the move a bit… but Whorli just can’t say no to kittens.
So, the initial response to the game has been quite divided, which is what we expected. There are those who think it’s funny and like it and those who don’t and don’t. Very, very little middle ground. As a result, it did ok on Kong (and got a pity badge from Greg), but has seen very little early pickup from distribution. More on that aspect of the game’s success will be known in a week or two.
What interests me so much is that the walkthrough has been viewed over 21,000 times. It’s not like the game is hard, at all. Not even remotely. Yet 21,000 views. I’m quite shocked by this, and don’t really know what to attribute it to. I understand that there have been 74,000 clicks on the walkthrough link… but that makes a bit more sense, given there is an achievement for it; but for 30% of those clickers to view it? Either they really like me or they are dumber than I thought. Not sure which is better.