Tagged: Youtube

How Upgrades, Fusion and Litho-Stones Work in Spelunker World

As I’ve been playing more and more Spelunker World online I’ve met a few people who don’t understand how the crafting and upgrading system works. I’d expect that from the Level 1 or Level 5 players but I’ve found people into the 20’s that didn’t know you could upgrade your gear.

The game isn’t totally esoteric but there’s a lot going on and there isn’t a clear tutorial on how it all works. If you never risked poking all the buttons you could easily miss out on the most satisfying part of the game: the loot grind. There is nothing like spending an hour getting through a stage and coming back later with beefed up gear to breeze right through it.

So for anyone out there mystified by Rare Materials, item fusion, level caps and Litho-Stones, I made this video. It’s as broad an overview of the gameplay loop as I could come up with. I may have gotten too into it towards the end and started talking a little fast but, lucky for you, I’m here to answer your burning questions.

Of 2015: The Most Viewed Videos (on my channel)

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It’s time for that most important, self-aggrandizing category of them all: The Most Viewed YouTube Videos (on my dinky little channel). Dinky as it may be, my channel has generated more views, visits and money in the last two years than GameLuv has in ten. I should really process every thought I have for a written post into a video. But as much as I struggle to form coherent sentences sometimes (how is this one so far?), video takes a lot more time to create. Even with my spartan, just-hit-record-and-go setup I can easily spend an hour before things are ready to roll.

In honor of the video work I did manage to do here’s a look at some stats and 2015 record holders. Individual views were up a surprising 111% over 2014 with 358,330 views total. That adds up to 985,984 minutes watched. Nearly a million! Just on my junk! For most of the year I felt pretty bad about my output but looking back at the totals makes me feel accomplished and immensely appreciative for all who found my little corner of YouTube.

 

My top video was a 2015 debut which is great to see because it’s usually things from years past. Besiege: Choppers, Tanks and Worms hit early enough in the game’s hype cycle to get a lot of attention and 35,830 views. It also generated a lot of scorn as people found it after the game had been updated and ridiculed me for not using tools that weren’t in the version I was recording. Good ol’ Internet hatred.

The Battletanx “Snuggle Bear” commercial that was #1 in 2014 has slipped a spot but still managed 31,479 views. According to Google’s new stat the average viewer watched 110% of the video, meaning a lot of people played it multiple times. Thank you 3DO, Battletanx and Snuggle Bear, I couldn’t have done it without you! It might also be a lesson that brevity is king on YouTube. The Average Percentage Watched for nearly all my other videos tops out at 80% and most of them fall below 50%. I know my stuff usually runs long and I need to chop it up into chunks at the least.

 

Next up is another returning 2014 record holder: Body Harvest Pt. 01 with 9,369 views. People continue to be fascinated by would-be Rockstar’s, would-be Grand Theft Auto but most of them don’t stick with me for long. The entire series was viewed another 15,560 times in 2015 but maybe it’s good that it’s a smaller number. I still haven’t been back to finish the game after ditching everyone in the infamous Part 10.

Finally, Number 5 is another singular track in a series of mine: 21 – 204863 from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with 6,002 views. It probably got the most views because the numbers in the title — 204863 — tie into P.T. and Konami’s cancelled Silent Hills project. If people didn’t find it for Metal Gear, they found it for Silent Hill. It’s included in my playlist of the in-game music that’s hidden on cassette tapes. It doesn’t appear on any of the available soundtracks but it’s some of my favorite music from the game. I turned my little passion project into a series of videos and if you add them all up this would be #2 on the list with 43,272 views.

 

It didn’t make the top spot but one thing I wanted to call out was my Delisted series. After a few of the folks at US Gamer tweeted links to my playlist, the series of 55 videos jumped up to 11,414 views in 2015. Of everything I’ve recorded it might be the most important to me. I’ve become increasingly interested in the preservation of games and recording the titles I have access to seems the least I can do. I would love to be able to turn just this part of my channel into my day job or use it to get into more meaningful preservation work.

A new videOST for CounterSpy is out today!

There’s something in CounterSpy’s visual style and soundtrack that more than compensate for its gameplay flaws. It’s a terribly inconsistent game when it comes to being spotted which makes the experience more frustrating than it should be. Still, I really liked it and after the first several hours with the game I couldn’t stop humming its cool 60’s spy flick music.

I went looking for an official soundtrack but only found a few songs on Soundcloud and one copy on vinyl… that comes direct from the developers??! So I did the thing I usually do and recorded it myself! It was a fun process and really got me thinking about the audio design and how it’s all linked to go along with the randomly generated levels. Then I thought about things even more and edited all the musical cues and interludes into a new videOST series. Watch, listen, enjoy and then go play the game yourself. It’s pretty fun, only a little flawed and it’s on every PlayStation platform as well as iOS and Android.

Get Funky with Sega Swirl’s Soundtrack

Thanks to Giant Bomb’s Dan Ryckert and the Demo Derby series, I was once again reminded of something I’d forgotten about; how great the music is in Sega Swirl! It’s also one of those great oddities of gaming, having only been distributed on demo discs or bundled on the Dreamcast Web Browser discs. I remember really enjoying it back in 2000 and getting much more use from it than the Dreamcast web experience.

It also had a great funky soundtrack that I quickly recorded. Though it’s lost to time now I remember emailing with Tremor Entertainment (or possibly Richard Jacques who is credited on the game) about the soundtrack. He mentioned that the music was interactive, changing with the player’s speed and performance. I swear I’ve never heard it change because the rounds are over so quickly. Regardless, it’s got a handful of great tunes and you can listen and watch along in my latest videOST playlist.

Other videOST offerings include Beetle Adventure Racing, Crash ‘n Burn, San Francisco Rush 2049, Extreme-G 2, and X-Men on the Genesis.

I made a new videOST for Extreme-G 2 (N64)

The transition from 2D to 3D in the 90’s wasn’t a pretty one. At least the PlayStation and Saturn had the benefit of CD quality sound but Nintendo held onto the cartridge format for the N64. This meant musicians needed to code their own music into the game which resulted in a lot (a LOT) of forgettable, sub-par soundscapes of squeaking, squirting ear noise.

Nintendo’s first-party soundtracks obviously benefited from their expert understanding of the hardware but there were plenty of other memorable and enjoyable scores. One of those shining gems is Extreme-G 2, co-composed by Simon Robertson and Steve Root. For a game where TRON-inspired bikes routinely shatter the sound barrier (a cool effect in its own that strips away the music), the music is surprisingly chill. I’d always thought of it back then as drum ‘n bass but nowadays I’d call it more lounge, maybe? Chill, for sure.

However you classify it, it’s good. So I spent part of the weekend recording each of the game’s twelve courses (some races went better than others) and setting them to their matching songs. There’s also an intro track and menu music. Oh yeah, it’s a new videOST.