LazyBoy

A Smashing Cast: Episode 1 Now Available!

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If you are a good conversationalist, play Smash online, and are looking for a channel to express your love of video games, then I could use your help.

I am looking to start a podcast, and am looking to the NE community for people to be on it. Here's a synopsis of what it's about:

Spoiler

 

The idea is to produce a weekly video of around 45-60 minutes that looks like a Smash Ultimate Lets Play, with discussion among 5-6 regular competitors about Switch games.

It would be an informative but humorous show, with good conversation being key and the Smash games providing both entertainment and content to fall back on. 

It would be family friendly, polite and encourage viewers to try out games maybe they had not considered.

Following auditions to find our 5-6 competitors (myself included), we would have a test run to see how it goes. If successful it would mean an hour a week where all competitors join a smash battle arena, call into a shared conference call (probably Skype), and both the Smash and audio is recorded. 

I'll say at this point that I am no expert on producing content like this, so we would require a producer to record and edit the videos, as well as being able to advise on the equipment and software we will need. SCG has already offered himself, but if you have any skills or knowledge Im sure we can use them.

I will helm the show to begin with, though I am not precious about it and we can discuss changing this in the future if necessary. Shows would begin with me establishing the situation with regard to the current competition we are engaged in. The show will be filmed in series, with the first series being 5 'rounds' long, each round consisting of a practice week, where the challenge for that week is introduced and we practice, and the week after being the actual challenge. So 10 weeks in all.

On challenge weeks we are awarded points depending on performance in the challenge. The final round is always a straight 1-1 tournament for inflated points. The other rounds are themed - a Pokemon only week, an explosives weeks, a team battle week etc. 

Whilst matches are happening the other 1/2 competitors who are not playing will be commentating where the fighting is interesting enough for it, but most of the time they will be discussing Switch games. I will ask every competitor for a game they have been playing this week in advance, and throw questions to them about that game when they are not playing. Others can of course chime in, and plenty of allowance will be given for the conversation to branch, especially where subjects are topical.

The show will be posted in its entirety on youtube, but can then be clipped up into - Best moments of fighting, separate game discussions, and maybe just funniest bits. Thus we produce 3-4 pieces of content for each hour of video recorded.  

Availability will probably be the main obstacle here - getting 5-6 people to agree on a time every week is not easy. However on practice weeks we can just leave people out, whilst for people who have missed challenge weeks we can have a fun punishment the next week they are available, where they have to go up against a team of 3 others, getting a point for every stock they manage to win off the other team. Its not about winning the competition after all, its just a fun framework.

 

Did you get all that? I'm here to answer if any clarifications are needed.

Still interested? Post below and tell me.

And remember, you'll need:

-Smash Ultimate (+online)
-Device(s) for taking hour long calls over skype, that record a high quality of audio
-A love of talking all things video games
-A touch of competitiveness
-...and it wouldn't hurt to have a sense of humour.

Peace!

p.s. shout out to Glen, Jonnas and SCG for already registering their interest.

edit: Well this is a little more quiet than I would have liked. Might as well move to arranging.  As a test it would be fine to move forward with a test of 4 of us - maybe we'll get some more interest after that.

@S.C.G You've said you have some software for recording game footage(right?). What about the audio from skype? And will you be able to lay the 2 over each other?

@Glen-i Could I ask you to host the battle arenas? There won't be much to it, but you're practiced at it and you've already got a good range of custom arenas

And for both of you and @Jonnas, when do you think you'll be able to spare an hour in the next week to give this a try?
 

Edited by LazyBoy
Moving things along
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20 hours ago, LazyBoy said:

@S.C.G You've said you have some software for recording game footage(right?). What about the audio from skype? And will you be able to lay the 2 over each other?

I have the software but no experience with it yet, so I can't guarantee the quality or anything until I try it out, this would seem to be the best time to give it a go though.

If we're all going to be using Skype then I'll reinstall it... I take it there isn't any other popular PC-based software which would be better for this kind of thing?

As for getting the audio from such programs I have no idea but I've got these various bits of software so I can certainly look into what's involved. :smile:

Again, I don't know if I'll be able to overlay the audio over the video until I try, so just lots of unknowns at the moment.

I'm still all for moving things along, though I think this will take a little bit of time to sort out, first order of business will be making room on my PC...

If I'm capturing video then I don't have a huge amount of space, I mean... how much will an hour of HD video be in file size? I'm betting it will be a good few GB?

@RedShell do you have an idea of how big the video files will be just to give me an idea please? :D (thought I'd ask seeing as you've captured footage before)

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20 hours ago, LazyBoy said:

 

@Glen-i Could I ask you to host the battle arenas? There won't be much to it, but you're practiced at it and you've already got a good range of custom arenas

No problem, I take it for this trial run, we can just stick to a usual kind of rule setup? What do you lot fancy, Time, Stock or Stamina?

As for the time, I'm actually available all week this week. (It's not the norm for me, so don't get too used to it) So I'm very flexible as far as time goes, just give me a heads up whenever.
Seeing as it is a Smash Ultimate Online session, once we settle on a time, I think I should drop a heads-up on the online thread regardless. Hopefully should attract some more interest. For that reason, it'd be ideal to give at least a day notice, seeing as it'll probably not be the usual Thursday session.

I'll also be making it a locked room. Rarely, one of my non N-E friends joins in, which is normally fine, but for this, I don't think it will be.

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35 minutes ago, S.C.G said:

I have the software but no experience with it yet, so I can't guarantee the quality or anything until I try it out, this would seem to be the best time to give it a go though.

If we're all going to be using Skype then I'll reinstall it... I take it there isn't any other popular PC-based software which would be better for this kind of thing?

As for getting the audio from such programs I have no idea but I've got these various bits of software so I can certainly look into what's involved. :smile:

Again, I don't know if I'll be able to overlay the audio over the video until I try, so just lots of unknowns at the moment.

I'm still all for moving things along, though I think this will take a little bit of time to sort out, first order of business will be making room on my PC...

If I'm capturing video then I don't have a huge amount of space, I mean... how much will an hour of HD video be in file size? I'm betting it will be a good few GB?

@RedShell do you have an idea of how big the video files will be just to give me an idea please? :D (thought I'd ask seeing as you've captured footage before)

This is a learning experience for all of us, so just the fact that you want to try is great. Go ahead and reinstall Skype and make whatever room you have to, and lets see what @RedShell has to say.

24 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

No problem, I take it for this trial run, we can just stick to a usual kind of rule setup? What do you lot fancy, Time, Stock or Stamina?

As for the time, I'm actually available all week this week. (It's not the norm for me, so don't get too used to it) So I'm very flexible as far as time goes, just give me a heads up whenever.
Seeing as it is a Smash Ultimate Online session, once we settle on a time, I think I should drop a heads-up on the online thread regardless. Hopefully should attract some more interest. For that reason, it'd be ideal to give at least a day notice, seeing as it'll probably not be the usual Thursday session.

I'll also be making it a locked room. Rarely, one of my non N-E friends joins in, which is normally fine, but for this, I don't think it will be.

We'll keep it to stock, but just so I can test out the idea of 'themes' lets make it a Pokemon week (Pokemon characters, stages, items and music only). Watching us try out our different strategies you feed some of the conversation. 

As for the day, lets make sure SCG has all the equipment he needs in place before booking the time in. Its only really Friday and Saturday nights I can't do - otherwise any weekend or weekday evening is fine for me. And yes to posting on the online thread, you never know.

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I saw my name mentioned a couple of times in the other thread, and I never replied there so I'll just go ahead and shout out here. :grin:

First of all I love that you are considering putting this under the NE brand and are effectively helping making the site and forum a better place. That's always very welcome!

I'm liking the hybrid idea between playing games and a discussion. It's a safe way to have a fallback in case the discussion goes stale, and it should lead to not having to edit different takes in the end like you have with normal podcast discussions.

I think there are some difficulties to tackle first. One is getting good audio input from all the talkers and get that recorded, getting the Smash games recorded and syncing that up. 

For audio you could go for a Skype or discord session and record that. If you want really good audio though the best way is to record everyone individually and then merge the different tracks. That's really time costly though, plus everyone needs a recording option.

For video I think the best thing is to get someone who can record be the spectator, that way he can mess around as well. Ideally you need someone who can hook up the Switch to a PC or a standalone capture card. How do you record gameplay @RedShell?

Then there is getting the group together. 4-6 people is a lot, especially on a weekly basis.

But I think the key is to start easy and from there build up your quality. So start with recording the Skype session and syncing it with RedShell's recording. If that is doable you can start thinking about an intro and an ending graphics, and maybe some extra overlay in between.

That's my take on the technical side of things haha. I have some experience with video editing but not for this site. I can always help with social media posting, managing the YouTube and stuff like that. I would also love to be one of the talking members although it really depends on what day it would happen.

Finally I just bought a house (:D) but that means I have absolutely no time until Christmas to do a lot for this (:().

 

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47 minutes ago, LazyBoy said:

This is a learning experience for all of us, so just the fact that you want to try is great. Go ahead and reinstall Skype and make whatever room you have to, and lets see what @RedShell has to say.

OK, I'll do what I can but on the subject of Skype... Dennis has brought up another possible alternative...

6 minutes ago, Vileplume2000 said:

I saw my name mentioned a couple of times in the other thread, and I never replied there so I'll just go ahead and shout out here. :grin:

First of all I love that you are considering putting this under the NE brand and are effectively helping making the site and forum a better place. That's always very welcome!

I'm liking the hybrid idea between playing games and a discussion. It's a safe way to have a fallback in case the discussion goes stale, and it should lead to not having to edit different takes in the end like you have with normal podcast discussions.

I think there are some difficulties to tackle first. One is getting good audio input from all the talkers and get that recorded, getting the Smash games recorded and syncing that up. 

For audio you could go for a Skype or Discord session and record that. If you want really good audio though the best way is to record everyone individually and then merge the different tracks. That's really time costly though, plus everyone needs a recording option.

For video I think the best thing is to get someone who can record be the spectator, that way he can mess around as well. Ideally you need someone who can hook up the Switch to a PC or a standalone capture card. How do you record gameplay @RedShell?

Then there is getting the group together. 4-6 people is a lot, especially on a weekly basis.

But I think the key is to start easy and from there build up your quality. So start with recording the Skype session and syncing it with RedShell's recording. If that is doable you can start thinking about an intro and an ending graphics, and maybe some extra overlay in between.

That's my take on the technical side of things haha. I have some experience with video editing but not for this site. I can always help with social media posting, managing the YouTube and stuff like that. I would also love to be one of the talking members although it really depends on what day it would happen.

Finally I just bought a house (:D) but that means I have absolutely no time until Christmas to do a lot for this (:().

...good shout on Discord, I think maybe that would be a better thing to use rather than Skype if that suited everyone? (I'll go with whichever but Discord seems to be better suited)

All good suggestions there, I do have a capture card but limited experience and storage space but I'll attempt to recitfy this over the next few days.

If we can make this work on a regular basis, I think it could work quite nicely, it'll just take a bit of ironing out over time I think.

It would be great if you could help us with the social media promotion though Dennis, that would be excellent. :D

Oh and congratulations on your "house get!" :grin: I hope it all goes well and I'll do what I can to keep things running on the main site, remember that if you need me to do the New Releases and Discounts article on any given week that I can if that helps you out while you're busy, I'm more than happy to do that. :peace:

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Congrats on the new house @Vileplume2000 - easily the most stressful period of my life when I bought mine. Hopefully we can find some time for you to join us for this an release some stress. Scheduling is my biggest fear, but its only an hour a week, so I'm optimistic we can find a week night for it. To that end:

@Jonnas @Glen-i @S.C.G - and vileplume - could please you set your time preferences for the trial session by following the link:

https://doodle.com/poll/49xmvt2b7ryru6mz

There's 5 of us, which is a good start - we will mix it up with who is talking and who is playing. 

I'll set up a discord this evening (after figuring out how to do it). If the audio is ok on that then we should have everything we need to do a minimal trial run, providing SCG gets the video + audio software working. Improvement to the quality of these processes can come later.

That ok with everyone?

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Done, I just put down 8PM Sunday, Monday or Wednesday from the options available.

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4 hours ago, S.C.G said:

If I'm capturing video then I don't have a huge amount of space, I mean... how much will an hour of HD video be in file size? I'm betting it will be a good few GB?

@RedShell do you have an idea of how big the video files will be just to give me an idea please? :D (thought I'd ask seeing as you've captured footage before)

An hour of video is usually somewhere between 6-7 GB for me, which can then be compressed down to around 1.5 GB while still retaining good quality.

3 hours ago, Vileplume2000 said:

How do you record gameplay @RedShell?

I use a very old HDPVR2 and as I mentioned in the staff thread, the device can be a bit flaky now, meaning potential loss of some (or even all) footage. So yeah, it would be best if someone with a more stable capturing setup could take care of recording the gameplay ideally.

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5 hours ago, S.C.G said:

Oh and congratulations on your "house get!" :grin: I hope it all goes well and I'll do what I can to keep things running on the main site, remember that if you need me to do the New Releases and Discounts article on any given week that I can if that helps you out while you're busy, I'm more than happy to do that. :peace:

 

3 hours ago, LazyBoy said:

Congrats on the new house @Vileplume2000 - easily the most stressful period of my life when I bought mine. Hopefully we can find some time for you to join us for this an release some stress. Scheduling is my biggest fear, but its only an hour a week, so I'm optimistic we can find a week night for it.

Cheers! Yeah, exciting and slightly stressful times are ahead, but after the first weekend of redecorating (read: thrashing the place) I feel like we are still on schedule. If I never need help I know where to find you Sam (for the site, not for redecorating :heh:). And I'll fill in your schedule soon @LazyBoy, just need to figure out when I have an hour off where I can both play and talk.

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Hey, Lazyboy, I'll try to be there for the Discord test (I'm Jonnas there as well, but I'm not sure how to set anything up, either).

The problem is, I've been thinking about my longterm availability, and it's pretty wonky. I'm not here this weekend, and recently I've learned that from November onward I'll be busy almost every weekday evening (except Wednesday and Friday).

I filled out the Doodle for the test run / first episode, but I'm not sure if I can be there weekly, depending on where it lands.

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Updated link to the Discord

I'm new to all this as well, but that invite should be OK for at least 24 hours.

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Very excited to be filming the trial episode of the podcast tonight. I was thinking 'Button Mashers' as the name of the show, but you've got to imagine its been taken already. As a back up I also like 'Gamefellas' (you know, like that Scorsese movie, Age of Innocence). What do we think?

I'll be sending round a pack this afternoon, just to make sure everyone is ready to go. We'll probably aim for 30 minutes recording. 

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45 minutes ago, LazyBoy said:

Very excited to be filming the trial episode of the podcast tonight. I was thinking 'Button Mashers' as the name of the show, but you've got to imagine its been taken already. As a back up I also like 'Gamefellas' (you know, like that Scorsese movie, Age of Innocence). What do we think?

I'll be sending round a pack this afternoon, just to make sure everyone is ready to go. We'll probably aim for 30 minutes recording. 

Something like 'Button Mashers' is almost certainly taken and I'm not sure if it would be a good fit.

I could warm to it being called 'GameFellas' though because that's more accurate, everyone on the Podcast is male and we're about playing games so... ::shrug:

No need to put any more thought into it than that really as it's not a title you have to overanalyse, it's simple and could work rather well. :smile:

The only thing is, as I thought... there's already a GameFella's because of course there is! :rolleyes:

It looks like they just started a few months ago as well, however it looks like it's an Apple podcast and more personality based whereas we're game talk on the audio with game footage, just on YouTube and I believe we're offering something a bit different due to the fact that the game footage we're using will be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exclusively I believe.

So you can either look at it as we're not really competing, we just happen to be using the same name and hope there's no legal stuff or think of another name for the Podcast.

I suppose we shouldn't worry too much as this is the first test recording but equally it would be good to get a name/brand locked in so that if it goes well which I think it will, we've got something that we can build on, anyway I will keep trying to get stuff sorted out during the day, I think the more options we have for the audio recording side of things, the better, it looks like I've got the video covered now at least and I'll stay signed in to the Discord page in case anyone needs to reach me in the meantime. :peace:

I'm pretty happy with how quickly this is coming along though even if we haven't really properly recorded anything yet but I'm optimistic and I'm glad that you had the idea for this show @LazyBoy and that you've been keen to get as many people on-board for this as we can, also thanks to everyone who's currently part of the Discord group. :D

 

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Well, I think the test recording yesterday went as well as can be expected. :D

The conversation seemed to flow reasonably well, playing Smash was great fun especially with the themes and we managed to get video recording on my end and audio as well.

Some of us will need better mics I think, @LazyBoy you even said so yourself that you'd need a better headset I believe? And I think I'll need to get a better mic as well at least.

I will do what I can with the video and audio but please take into consideration that I am learning from nothing here. :p

I've got all the editing software which I got from a Humble Bundle months ago, I just need to install it and redeem the license codes, then I'll fiddle around with the files.

I can aim for getting something sorted before the weekend like we discussed but this is in no way set in stone, I'm not trying to set us back here either, I'm just being realistic. :smile:

If anyone has any editing tips for merging separate audio tracks with video then that would be appreciated, aside from that we should have something to show soon.

Also, I was thinking about the name, would the 'N-E Smashing Podcast' be a good name for it?

There's still lots to consider but I don't want to understate how much of a step forward we took last night in our test recording, I'm still feeling very opimistic about it all. :peace:

Edited by S.C.G

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I was very happy with the trial recording of the podcast, but I don't think we'll end up sharing this one just because the audio quality is so bad (myself being the main culprit). I am very enthused nonetheless because the conversation was so good, and I think we have the talent to make a good show.

I have asked that we do one more trial show (after I have purchased a significantly better headset), and we may share that one with the forum for feedback.

A Smashing Podcast? 

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1 hour ago, LazyBoy said:

I was very happy with the trial recording of the podcast, but I don't think we'll end up sharing this one just because the audio quality is so bad (myself being the main culprit). I am very enthused nonetheless because the conversation was so good, and I think we have the talent to make a good show.

I have asked that we do one more trial show (after I have purchased a significantly better headset), and we may share that one with the forum for feedback.

A Smashing Podcast? 

Yep, I agree with everything here, it's just that we didn't know how everything was going to go until we tried and at least we're now focusing on improving audio etc. :)

I've got that new mic on order now and I think the conversation along with the knowledge was definitely there, i even learnt a few things I didn't know about a certain character who's lined up for appearing in Smash in the not too distant future, I mean I knew of the chracter (Terry Bogard) from playing some Neo Geo games but not really much about the backstory. :D

Another trial show is the way to go I reckon as I reckon we'll improve and I'll hopefully have learned a bit about editing by then. :blush:

'A Smashing Podcast' has a decent ring to it, it's also to the point and what we're about, I'd be more than happy with that for the name. :peace:

Also, it just goes to show what a good idea it was on your end to come up with the concept of playing Smash while talking about other game related topics.

It sounds simple but it just works and I can see a lot of scope in the future for different themes and fun or interesting topics to talk about. :smile:

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Here it is...

A Smashing Cast Episode 0 is now live on my YouTube channel as a test. :)

Just take into consideration that we're all new to this, the video capturing on my end is hit and miss as the video captured of what we were playing while we were talking didn't pan out so I had to improvise by using footage from the other night on October 31st from the Halloween Smash session which I believe features myself, @Glen-i @Dcubed and @RedShell

All of the audio recording seemed to go well, there is a bit at the start where we were warming up in a timed match and we were then going to go straight into the first match, but there was some good conversation in there so rather than edit it, I've left that in, also the video goes a bit odd at the end as there was a freeze in the video so I tried to move some footage from later in the capture, just to fit enough in to go along with the audio and the video is terrible quality, this is just a test and I've only started learning how to edit and also we've all only just started doing this so it can only get better. :peace:

Thanks to everyone involved who is in our Discord group so that's @LazyBoy @Nicktendo @Vileplume2000 & @Jonnas who are in the discussion and @nekunando who's in the group which everyone has contributed to, eventually resulting in the video that you see embedded in this post. :D

Credit goes to Ryan for coming up with the idea in the first place but I think we've done well to get to this stage and hopefully there will be more to come depending on feedback and whether or not we're happy to have this on N-Europe, but hopefully so and I'd love to hear what you think about it @Ashley as we're happy to go ahead to continue and refine what we have with this, so long as you're happy for us to continue with it? :smile:

Anyway, enjoy and please let us know what you think and any suggestions for improvement or praise if we're indeed worthy of it. (hopefully though) :p

We've had fun with it so far in any case which is the main thing but we'd love to keep going with this in the future.

(I've now reuploaded the video again after getting it to render at higher quality, taking two attempts and several hours of rendering but the video quality is now very much watchable, even if the footage towards the end is a bit hit and miss as it's just there to fill a static screen which was there before)

Edited by S.C.G
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Just to add here that it may be better just to listen to the audio this time round. Not only does the video not match the actual game, but the quality is pretty bad as well. We'll work to improve this, but for now would love some feedback on the conversation.

Edited by LazyBoy
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13 hours ago, LazyBoy said:

Just to add here that it may be better just to listen to the audio this time round. Not only does the video not match the actual game, but the quality is pretty bad as well. We'll work to improve this, but for now would love some feedback on the conversation.

I've now managed to upload a better quality version of the video which I've swapped out in my post above. :D

it took a couple of attempts to render it but I think it was worth doing, even if this is only the test video, the quality is now very much watchable. :peace:

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Right, watched it.  I actually think you guys gelled pretty well, especially for a first crack at it; not bad, would listen to you guys more.

 

The footage situation is unfortunate though; it did end up harming the video cast as a whole.  I do think that it’s a good idea with some potential though; I can see how having matching video of you guys playing while shooting the breeze can work and I reckon it could make for a good show.

 

These things do happen though and sometimes things just don’t go to plan with the recording (I’ve been there, it really sucks when it happens); so I think you guys should look to get a few of you capturing video feeds individually, not just one of you.  It not only gives you insurance if one person’s video feed buggers up, but it also means that you have additional footage to splice in and play around with in editing.  Though this isn’t as useful in Smash as in other games (since all the action is confined to one screen), it would be very useful if you guys did decide to play other games as well.

 

If you're doing this from a room created by @Glen-i; I can actually set it up to capture the footage for you guys as well from my end, giving you another chunk of footage to make use of! (How are you guys sharing files?).

Edited by Dcubed
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