10/18/2016

The Near Future of Randomrings Channel

Randomrings Channel started as an innocent YouTube channel where I could post game reviews and figure out what the hell else you are supposed to do with a YouTube channel that people actually come to watch. As 2016 comes to a close, Randomrings Channel has now become a channel where I am still trying to figure out what the hell else you are supposed to do with a YouTube channel that people actually come to watch.

So here are my immediate plans with the channel and some more loose thoughts and ideas on where I want to go with it at this stage, seeing how it has been a few months since I've posted a review.

I've already stated the future for Randomrings Reviews specifically in two separate update videos, but not everyone watches those. I stated that I split Randomrings Reviews into seasons to better organize what to do with it. Instead of trying to release a review every three to six weeks, I decided to work on a group of them in bulk so when one releases, nine more are released one after the other every week. Uncharted 4 was the last monthly review because the formula of trying to shell out a review all of the time was too limiting and too situational. Instead of saying "I could change this specific thing or add this specific thing to make the review more entertaining, oh well, gotta get it out Friday", I can now say "I will revise this later after I get more progress done with the other reviews because I have a few months to do that." Even then, I only gave myself from mid-August to mid-November to do six reviews. So far it is working okay, and that's as far as I will go into that. I'm going to release an update video in really early November showing some form of significant progress.

Randomrings Reviews, as you will see in November, is kind of evolving into something a little more unique and less forced. It will be obvious once you see it. There are key moments where I throw in jokes or something silly that showcase a little bit of myself in the review so it doesn't just feel like an IGN review or something, not that there is anything wrong with that, but there are some parts where I'm reading off a lot of information and it does kind of feel like I'm watching GameSpot. Again, not a bad thing, but a lot of game reviewers try to do this other than bringing something new to the table, so I want to try and bring something new to the table, or at least something kind of unique. At it's core, the reviews will still be about showcasing good and bad points in games with a bigger focus on why they are good and bad than just a list of good and bad things.

I'm also kind of done with end-slates. You know: the thing at the end that says "you should subscribe to me because I'm fucking amazing and I know you want to hear my voice day in and day out every time you get on YouTube so just click subscribe!" I'm fed up with it. There are three core reasons I'm omitting end-slates in my future videos.

REASON 1:
The other day I was watching The Gregory Brothers, which is an amazing channel with some of the absolutely most creative and talented people on YouTube, and you should go check that out immediately after you read this. You may also know them by their other channel, Schmoyoho. They have this series on The Gregory Brothers channel called Happy Sad Songs where they change the mode of certain songs from Major to Minor or vice versa. I was watching a bunch of those and thoroughly enjoying myself, but noticed one tiny annoyance. At the end of each video, there is an end-slate that previews the next song in the Happy Sad Songs playlist. So you hear a bit of the song, and then in a few seconds, it plays it again from the beginning, which is kind of off-putting. I realized "holy shit, I do this on almost every Randomrings Review and if people go to one of the review playlists, they are going to get blasted with me begging them to subscribe AND ads!" So in Uncharted 4, I thought it would go against the mood of the end of the review if I threw in an end-slate thing somewhere, so I went without one, and it felt more natural and satisfying after it was all said and done.

REASON 2:
If you're going to subscribe, you're going to subscribe. If anything, I think barking at you to do it is beggy and is going to make new viewers less likely to subscribe. I've never really been beggy about it unless I was doing it tongue-in-cheek, but I think you get the idea. It's a giant awkward chunk of video that takes me extra time to render and although it serves a purpose, it arguably makes my video worse. Like I think it was Star Fox Zero I was watching recently when it sunk in the most. That is a twelve minute review with an end-slate that lasts like two and a half minutes, and doesn't even have anything after the end-slate to justify you wasting that much of your time. Why the hell did I do that? If the end product suffers in the form of trying to coax viewers to watch more of my videos that do the same damn thing, then I am making always making a flawed video to link to other flawed videos. Kind of an OCD way of looking at it, but hopefully that makes sense.

REASON 3:
Vidme. Vidme, in its current state, does not have annotations. So I have multiple videos on Vidme now telling you repeatedly to click non-existent links. It's awkward! And I plan on using Vidme a lot more often.

Why Vidme? Well it just started out as "why not?", but has evolved a bit. Let's put it this way. Randomrings Channel on YouTube started in 2014 and has over 2,500 total video views. This does include all of my videos on that channel, which then also encompasses promoted videos like Digimon Rumble Arena 2 and Sly 2 that I purposely put money into to spread it out to more YouTube users in select areas of the world. I got 2,500 views on my entire channel, for EVERY video, to show for slaving away for roughly 700+ days of working on these videos. I've been on Vidme for TWO WEEKS and already have almost 450 views combined, and there are only 11 videos! I don't even have all of the reviews up yet. So yes I have only accumulated 1/5 of the views, but I did so FIFTY TIMES FASTER! AND SOMETIMES I TYPE THINGS IN ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS!

Also Vidme has spread me around on Twitter a bit, something YouTube pretty much can't waste their time doing at this point, and Vidme went out of their way to verify my account for longer videos and Tweet at me to tell me that and publicly told me that my channel was "great". Their words! Wow!

I'm not abandoning YouTube because of this, it's too early to make that transition, but YouTube is doing some pretty shady stuff recently, and as you can tell from my content, it is going to royally fuck me somehow. We all know it is. We don't know how, but we all know it is.

So Randomrings Reviews specifically, I will upload to both Vidme and YouTube... for now. YouTube will be a place for more stupid goofy videos like vloggy stuff, update videos, and RR Nights. Stuff like that. Vidme will be solely for Randomrings Reviews... until next year! Next year I'm planning on starting a side series based on my reviews where I isolate the story of a game in each video. Written word art forms have always been interesting to me, and people like it when you talk about the plot of the game on the internet for some reason, even if you already know it, so I'm going to do it critically. Hopefully, time willing, I will do it.

I have also made another big decision, though I don't know if I'm 100% certain on it yet. Randomrings Reviews seasons, starting with Season 3 (next year) will have 20 episodes instead of 10. I would hate to get to Season 10 in like 2021 and have new people come to the channel and be like "wowee! 10 Seasons! This is such an established, cult favorite channel, why isn't everyone watching all 10 Seasons!" only to find out that this is essentially meaningless and only used for organization. But if someone goes through the playlists and sees "oh, Season 3 is actually 20 reviews, that is a season!", then umm.... they are less susceptible to disappointment I guess. I don't know. I just think it looks more professional and less misleading.

Plus I bumped so many games out of Season 2, that Season 3 was already filled before any of the Season 2 scripts were done being written, which is stupid. Now there are a few slots left open and Season 4 is essentially a blank slate. I've stated on this blog before that my goal is to get to Season 10, but with this new organization system, that is not the goal. The goal is really at least 100 reviews. So that means:

Season 1: Ep1-10
Season 2: Ep11-20
Season 3: Ep21-40
Season 4: Ep41-60
Season 5: Ep61-80
Season 6: Ep81-100

Does that mean Season 6 will be the final season? Time will tell. I can't predict the future, and they say most human lives go through some dramatic transition into a different phase every 5 years.

Season 1: 2014-2016
Season 2: 2016
Season 3: 2017
Season 4: 2018
Season 5: 2019
Season 6: 2020 I guess

Doable. And that will be roughly 7 years of my life dedicated to an independent internet show where I bitch about video games. All the video games. If I can find new ways to keep that fresh, then I'll keep going. If I'm making a living off of something else (i.e Lexi Karma) and Randomrings is purely a chore that is diminishing my quality of life, I'll move on to something equally or more creative.

I'm doing bigger plot pieces and other connective things within the seasons while still focusing on game design analysis, so it will be easier with 20 episodes to make something interesting, than try to cram it in with little segments across 10 episodes.

This entry is too long now.

If you guys liked Season 2 so far, you will definitely enjoy the last 6 episodes. And if you like all that, Season 3 is going to be nuts. Thanks for listening to me ramble, wherever and however you are listening to me ramble. Any feedback through comments or messages or whatever is welcome. Thanks and thanks and thanks. I say thanks a lot. At what point does a person stop sounding sincere and grateful and just come off as an annoying douche?...
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