Bringing Back Videos in a New Way

Keen and Graev's Youtube ChannelI’ve given a lot of thought recently to where I see the blog going for the remainder of 2015 and into the near future. I’m always thinking about whether or not there’s something we can do to enhance the blog without taking away from our core competence of writing content about the games we play.

When Twitch was just starting out we dabbled into streaming a bit. I might consider doing that again, but a capable internet connection is not available in my area at the moment. Even so, streaming doesn’t mesh with the style of content we provide here. We’re not entertainers. We’re not serious journalistic types. We have always provided something that most sites lack; Something we have always been about: Discussion.

I want to start making videos again, and I want to tailor them towards a deeper and more analytical discussion like you see here on the blog. For example, when I talk about immersion and danger in a MMORPG, wouldn’t it be great to actually show that in a video and walk through the process of identifying those traits? Showing what I’m writing about seems to me like it can only enhance or augment what is already taking place here on the blog.

Videos were one of the biggest ways we kickstarted our blog’s success. Remember those Age of Conan beta videos I shot where I ran around the battlegrounds and discussed how each class felt compared to the others? Those brought in 100,000’s of views and visitors. How about those cheesy Allods online videos? I can’t believe some of them broke 100,000 views. The facts cannot be ignored: Videos are a preferred medium.

I’m not looking to provide TV-like entertainment or provide something you’ll tune in to every afternoon at work for a laugh or to distract you. That space is already monopolized and readily available to you on Twitch. I’m looking to provide something I haven’t found, and a space I think is empty and ready to be filled. I have the experience, especially in MMOs, to provide commentary on gameplay mechanics, design elements, and the type of stuff readers of this blog would want to see. My hope is that by turning my written-medium into video form I will be able to reach a wider audience to not only grow our blog but help educate and improve the gaming community.

The style of these videos will be very casual and similar to the “let’s play” style that has become popular over the years. I’ll probably throw an intro on there (with custom music composed by my Wife — she’s an awesome composer & arranger) and launch right into showing you gameplay with discussion.  From there I’ll just launch into playing and discuss what’s going on. I expect to probably have series going for games. I might have everything from an EverQuest series of let’s play videos to Assassin’s Creed. Whatever the game, there may be multiple videos and I want them all to showcase the games while highlighting that thoughtful discussion.

These videos won’t be super regular at the start. I can’t promise one a day yet or anything. I want to test the waters and get my own feet wet with figuring out exactly how I want to create them, but my goal is to eventually be making them regularly. They will be especially interesting and worth-watching for upcoming and newer games. I will be going through some older games as well, but will focus my efforts on what’s new when those opportunities are available.

I will, of course, post everything here. If you want to give us a follow on our (currently very out-of-date) Keen and Graev Youtube page please do! I’m also looking for feedback on a name. How about “Keen Insights” … yay, nay? The name might come later.

  • I still like videos more than Twitch. I just have not had the time or motivation to make them anymore. So please do start up again 🙂

  • I’m a bit biased but i love the space engineers videos. For the brief time that we played that game I had so much fun playing it. Those random crazy moments of trying to fight a army convoy ship, and keeping the base safe from meteor death. All while trying to build crazy contraptions and space ships.

  • Space Engineers captured very well in videos. I think the game lent itself very well to explanatory videos and showcasing those crazy moments. I enjoyed that game. I think I’ll be going back when they add planets.

  • I don’t watch videos so I hope you still occasionally have commentary- I frequently disagree with you but I always enjoy reading what you have to say!

  • Oh there will never be a video without an accompanying blog post. The videos will, at most, be weekly MAYBE bi-weekly.

  • I’m looking forward to more vids. I think it sounds like a lot of work though. Ok not work in the technical sense of work, but more than a hobby.

  • My videos won’t be the greatest production quality at the start, nor will they be major productions in terms of recording. I plan to simply try and record my gameplay and talk about it more. There’s an element of SHOWING that people seem to love these days.

  • Hey Keen, I’m not a big video-watcher, but the example you gave in the blog got me really excited. You play a lot of games that I don’t and I always like hearing your opinion of them. But being able to see exactly what you’re talking and the events that sparked your opinions about the game/event would be so cool.

    I love this idea. I hope you find the time to make it happen 🙂 I’ve done some video work in the past and it’s always surprising how much time it takes! Thanks, as always, for the posts.

  • I completely understand that videos are the way to go for today’s media. I am not a video watcher. I check these blogs while I am at work on my break. Watching and listening to a video just is not possible. Once I am home, I would rather be playing the game then watch a video about it. I just hope that accompanying blog post does not require a viewing of the video to follow your points.

  • @Josh: Yeah, you totally get what I’m wanting to do with these videos. I hope I have time too… 😛

    @Topauz: I’m not a video watcher either… at least not really. My entire idea for the videos was to have both options available, and have the video be something that attracts someone in who maybe loves videos, AND be there so that someone reading the post and still not ‘getting it’ can watch the video and maybe have it click. As always, any little projects we do will never take away from writing.

    @Evang: I assume FB stands for Facebook. ::Looks around nervously:: I actually really do not like Facebook at all! I don’t know why. I have this bizarre aversion to its emphasis on personal lives. I use it professionally for advertising and marketing, and I know exactly how much information Facebook gathers from its users and sells to the highest bidder.

    I struggle bridging that gap. I’m an extremely private person, and I have always gone by my pseudonym. When I am online I do not identify as Doug — I identify as Keen. I can’t be Keen on Facebook.

    Now… if you’re talking about why I do not use Facebook for the blog? That’s part lazy and part feeling like I can’t get the reach there that I can on a platform like Twitter. Do you think I should utilize Facebook more? I’d be curious to know if you do, and if so why.

  • Hehe nice to see you guys listen to people that read your blog 😛 ,it can’t be that hard to c/p stuff you put on the blog for us FB users (i’m sure i’m not the only one )
    Sorry for OT-ing keep up the good work!

  • I’ll give it a try and see what kind of response we get. If nothing else, it might make for an interesting post to compare the reach of Facebook to Twitter for someone in our situation.