We Would Like to Play

Lately I have been getting back into my Let’s Play videos. What’s a Let’s Play? It’s a style of video where someone records themselves playing a video game. This has become such a big trend that it’s even lucrative on YouTube. While I have doubts of turning my gaming into a business, it’s fun to do and it allows me to connect to those who watch. I’ve recorded everything from the overdone Minecraft and Call of Duty to lesser known titles like Cthulhu Saves the World and some retro games such as Nethack. I play whatever strikes my fancy at the time and jabber away into a mic in some hope that there is someone listening. Some of my videos have done rather well while others can barely make it past my small group of family and friends. None the less, I still record, edit, and release these Let’s Play videos.

Now, I’ve recently gotten back into this as I’ve had videos up on YouTube since June of 2011. Yet I fall out of the habit, find myself discouraged, or simply don’t have anything new to play. Some games are great for recording, and others are definitely not. I doubt anyone would watch me play an old text based game. Yet, I’ve recently found some indie games that are currently going through Alpha and Beta testing. This becomes the perfect time to get something new out there that no one else has seen and it gives me something new to play as most of these indie games dare to do things that larger game companies won’t. Sadly this means some of the dumbest simulators ever conceived.

Which brings me to Viscera Cleanup Detail. It’s essentially a space janitor simulator. You go through the space station and pick up all the spent ammo shells, mop up the blood, and incinerate the leftover meat chunks. Delightful, no? I played as much as there was to play despite getting frustrated at every turn and I uploaded my misery to YouTube. You can watch it if you want a cheap laugh.

Since doing this, a publisher of another indie game contacted me with a vampire centric RPG called Bloodlust. Even though it’s still only a demo, it was a fun game. The concept is that you’ve woken up, unable to remember any more than your name, and try to find and kill your sire. Yet part of a vampire’s strength is brought by it’s children. So as your turn more vampires, you get stronger and so does your sire. I did a play through of the demo and gave them a few of my thoughts on the game. Most were modeling issues but nothing much more. You can watch that video here.

Still, being asked by a game’s publisher to play the game for them and give your opinion is rather awesome. I couldn’t stop thanking them for the opportunity. Since then I’ve moved on from that and started reviewing a game that was recently released and one I’ve impatiently been waiting for. They have brought back Shadowrun in Shadowrun returns. There has always been a Shadowrun video game but since they turned it into a first person shooter, everyone though it was dead. This time they’ve brought it back as an RPG again and given the players creation tools to go out, create levels, and share them with the community. I have yet to start playing with these tools but I’d need a story first. Since I’ve never played the older games nor the table top game; which is mainly due to a lack of interested players. Still I had much excitement for the game and the universe it has created. I’ll eventually be comfortable enough to write a story of my own for the system.

After playing it for an hour and a half, I decided it was well worth the money and the wait. While my hacker/street samurai is a bit of a soft-hearted punchingbag, he’s getting better in his search for his buddy’s murderer. I also talk shit about his terrible, cockroach repulsing apartment. Go ahead and check it out!

I have at least three videos recorded and plan on doing at least one more depending on if it feels doable. Sadly, RPGs don’t always work well for Let’s Plays. Still I’m excited about my character, Demi, and his adventure in finding his partner’s murderer while not getting geeked by Lone Star Security Services. Yet this is only one story with a 100,000 nuyen reward from a dead guy who managed to stay sober enough to set everything up in advance and call a lawyer to get everything official.

So maybe I’ve been missing a good RPG with a great story without having to run the thing. It’s kind of nice to be the player again even if it’s in a video game. Someone had to write the story. As far the Let’s Play videos, I have no idea what I’ll do next. It always has been a last minute decision with the required work lasting anywhere from a night to a few days. I was lucky enough to get my Bloodlust video done in two nights while painting the entire thumbnail for YouTube. My first episode of Shadowrun only took a night and I mixed the music for that one. Each video has it’s own requirements and sometimes I complete it quickly and sometimes there looks to be no end in sight. In the end, I do it for my own enjoyment and it’s nice to hear when people watch your videos. Especially if they like them.

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