How To PvP: The Secret Source (By Idiots) -

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

How To PvP: The Secret Source (By Idiots)

According to an article I just made up, fifty-seven percent of women wouldn't have a problem with a man who enjoys Podcast vs Player, but forty-three percent of men would have a problem with a woman who enjoys Podcast vs Player.

The scoundrels.

Anyway, onto things I've not made up to get your attention, I was scouting through the website yesterday, and came across an article where we'd been asked some questions about how to start a YouTube channel, and any tips we could give.

Now, firstly, I'll say the same thing I said in that article; we're the last people to ask. Like, really, go ask a cat or a spoon or something, but don't ask us.

That being said, we proceeded to go through what we do for the channel/website, which is probably the opposite of what you should do, but hey, any help is good help, right?

So, I thought it would be a good time (seeing as that post was 3 years ago) to update anything that may have changed, add a few more things and what not.

I wont go over everything that was asked again, so if you are interested, you can find the original post HERE.

As we said before, if you're doing a channel/website centered around video games, ideally we recommend having access to more than one device. This isn't a golden rule, but for variety, it's a pretty good line.

We have access to the following devices, and whilst we don't always use them all, it's always good to have options.

Xbox 360
Playstation 3
Playstation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Wii U
PS Vita
Nintendo Switch
Nvidia Shield TV
Gaming PC
Gaming laptop
Window 10 Tablet
Multiple Android devices
iPhone (shudder)
Most retro consoles (Mega Drive, SNES, GameCube, Ps2 etc)

Those are just a few of the devices we can use to make content, and again, whilst we don't always use them all, it's great to be able to jump in and out of different games with little to no boundaries.

Obviously, if you intend on doing one specific console, then you only need the one, but really, why limit your fun?

For recording, we have a set up that is quite amateurish really. We don't use mix decks or audio interface units, but we don't really need to, not yet at least.

Myself, I use a Blue Snowball Omnidirectional/Cardioid microphone, which is attached to a InnoGear Professional Adjustable microphone arm with a Paxcoo Double Nylon Pop Filter, and I use a set of Behringer HPM1000 headphones.

Dan uses a Samson CO1U microphone with a Paxcoo Double Nylon Pop Filter, and he uses a set of Steel Series Siberia V2 headphones.

Now then, we've got the equipment, but what do we use for capturing all the great (questionable) PvP moments?

Capture wise, we both use Bandicam, which is a video game screen recorder (but can also capture anything else on your screen). As well as being easy-to-use, the program provides advanced settings for experienced users. Non-technical users can find a variety of useful tutorials on the official website, and best of all, it's stupid cheap at £32 GBP (or $39 USD), it's also not as resource heavy as it's main competitor Fraps, so you'll notice less FPS drop when gaming and filming.

I also use Camtasia Studio from time to time, which is great capture software, complete with its own video editor. Unfortunately, it's not cheap at £185.08, nor is it as easy to use as Bandicam.

For recording PS4/Xbox One gameplay, instead of using an Elgato or something similar, we've started using the Streaming apps on Windows 10 for each console respectively. Obviously, there's a slight compromise on quality, however, it's not all that noticeable. You do, however, need a stable and fast internet connection. As we're running super fast fiber optic, it's not a problem.

For audio, we use Audacity, which is a free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing. And did we mention, it's free!
Audacity is great for people new to recording and veterans alike, it's easy to use, a very robust piece of software, and it has loads of editing features, including a brilliant and simple background noise remover.

Video editing wise, we both use Sony Vegas Pro 14, which, while not cheap (£449), is a brilliant editing suite, with a host of editing options, and the ability to create really impressive videos - if you can master the learning curve.

We've used Vegas since Pro 12, and we keep coming back to the family with each iteration. It's not as robust as Adobe Premier, but it's also alot cheaper (Adobe Premier is included in the Creative Cloud plan at £20.22 per month).

I also use Adobe After Effects CS6 to create both 2-D and 3-D animations, and Cinema 4D for more 3-D heavy animations. After Effects CS6 is a standalone version that I had before it went full Creative Cloud, whilst Cinema 4D is not for the feint hearted, as it's rather difficult to use and also costs a hefty £780.00 (inc. VAT).

For all design based work, I use Photoshop CS6, which is where all the graphics, thumbnails and most/all visual edits for Podcast vs Player are made in. Photoshop is reliable, reasonably easy to use, and even has a 3-D mode (which is where the PvPops were made).

Whilst none of the Adobe products are offered outside the Creative Cloud anymore, Photoshop, Premiere and Illustrator are worth the monthly fee, so long as you're using them daily.

I also use Krita, which, whilst mostly offered for Digital Artists, can also be used as an excellent Photoshop alternative. Krita is where I do most of my drawing, be it for Podcast vs Player related stuff (thumbnails, edits, promotional/website etc), the PvP Store or my art portfolio Broken Pony Art. It's brilliant, robust and often overlooked (or sometimes even not heard of!), but it's genuinely a great piece of software, and best of all, it's free.

Whilst not essential to your channel/website, I use a Wacom Intuos Pro, which is a digital drawing tablet, and it's very much an integral part of my workstation. Not exactly cheap and not easy to get used to, digital tablets are certainly not for everybody, but I genuinely couldn't work without it (although if anybody wants to throw me £2,068.80 for a Cintiq, I'll gladly take it!).

So you've got the equipment, you've got the software, now what?

Well, it's time to make some content! Whilst again, everything we say is just our opinion, we do advise you have a good idea what you want to do. Are you going to be a gaming channel? Movie reviews? Technology? Whatever it is you choose to do, get a good understanding of not only what you want to do, but also your target audience.

Whilst you wont really know your audience until you start putting content out there, using other peoples videos is a good way to start. If you're going to be focusing on Let's Plays and the like, check out some popular YouTube channels, but don't watch the videos, instead head to the comment section and get a feel for what the viewers are saying about the video. There will always be viewers who will give critique in some form or other, why not use that to your advantage?

This isn't something we actually do, but it is a good way to get a rough idea of what your intended audience may like/dislike.

Of course, this is the internet and everybody is a keyboard warrior who has fucked your mom.

But, at the end of the day, this will be your content, and if it makes you happy, then do what you want (within reason!), but if you're aiming to make this your livelihood, you're going to have to do the following things in some capacity:

  • Cave in to appealing to a much grander audience, possibly by going against something you'd normally not agree with. 

Keeping viewers these days is a much harder concept then it was a few years ago, and whilst you may have poured hours and hours into filming and editing your video, there'll be someone else who has done less than half of that, and the outcome is miles behind yours in quality, but, they'll have a bazillion viewers, whilst you have three.

That's just the way the internet world works, and if you want to move over that quality/quantity gap, then you're going to have to make some changes.

We make no such changes, but, we do listen to feedback, and if we believe a change will both benefit Podcast vs Player as a brand, without damaging our integrity, we will happily do it.

  • Using clickbait covers is another murky ground, that 90% of YouTubers (and also the internet in general) tread each and every day.

Clickbait covers are something that will usually result in a surge of viewers, but you may find your comment section flooded with angry people. Usually the same ones that have **fucked your mom and will hunt you down**

**Editors note: They haven't and they wont.

We do not believe in clickbait covers, and as I do the cover art for every (mostly) single one of our videos, I (try to) ensure that they are not misleading, but I do try to make them as pleasing on the eye as possible to hopefully stand out from similar videos.

  • Don't be afraid to try new content, variation is an important factor.

So you're a gaming channel, but all you're doing is Let's Plays? That's not a very wholesome image! Think about it, there are a lot of gamers in the world, but maybe not all of them like to watch you play games, so what will they do when they visit your channel?

Perhaps, instead of solely doing Let's Plays, you start a new series, maybe once a week, where you talk about the latest gaming news? Or maybe you do some game reviews? There's literally hundreds of awesome content you can create within your comfort zone, and the more variety, the more people you're likely to attract.

Podcast vs Player does a rather wide variety of different content, for example:

  • Podcasts
  • Let's Plays
  • Animations
  • Give-Aways
  • Movie/Game Spoilercasts
  • Quizshows
  • PvP Original Shorts
  • Drawing Tutorials
  • Reviews
  • Previews
  • Indie Developer Spotlights
Those are just a few of the things we do, and obviously, what you're able to do will be drastically different in the beginning, but, persevere and you'll ideally open up doors to enable all kind of new content.

Realistically, your limits will be what both you, and any prospective future proposals create. Obviously you can't do animation without the know-how, and you can't give any prizes away without the prizes, but you get the idea.

My first and only real advice, is learn how to edit. Whatever you take away from this article, please at least listen to that. Nobody wants to watch you sitting silently while you struggle around on your arse for two hours in Minecraft.


So cut out all the boring stuff, but don't just put "funny" memes in for no reason, if it's not funny, it's not funny. No amount of cat memes is going to change that. But, on the other hand, still be creative, if there's literally only a 30 second bit of your video that's genuinely enjoyable, but the rest of the hour is rubbish, then save that clip. Use it in a montage/channel reel/trailer.

Your best bits are the best parts of your brand that you want people to see/remember after all, so use them to your advantage.

Another thing to take away from this, is you're not going to be making any money. Not a dime. At least to start with. Get this mentality buried into your head, because otherwise you're going to be very disappointed.

Conversely, if you're only doing this to make money, then just quit now. You need to be enjoying what you're doing, your content is your creation, be proud of it, but don't ever think that you're going to rise above the big hitters of the internet, because for 99% of the world, you never will.

Of course, that 1% will make it and go on to sell out and be all kinds of corporate awesome, but that's a very small minority in today's internet celebrity world.

We make money, not alot, but we do. But is it from YouTube? Not even close. If we were to put a label on "success" (used very, very loosely), then it's down to the website. You'll notice our website is plastered with Affiliates. These are companies that have asked us to promote them in ways, and whilst many of you will see that as one of the bad points I listed, it's the exact opposite. Affiliates are sponsors of sorts, who, in return for a little advertising, they allow us to gain more exposure, and in doing so, we make a little money from it, whilst they gain advertising.

Affiliates can be anyone, but we only work with affiliates in our niche (videogames/movies/comics).

We also get review copies/codes for up and coming games, and that's payment in itself, but again, this is something you wont be doing on the get-go.

We also get items to give-away, and these are great intensives to get people flocking to your channel/website, as they may be the lucky winner, but don't go spending your own money on things, build up a healthy relationship with indie developers, publishers, companies, anyone who could potentially throw you something cool now and again.

It's also great community building, which is always a good thing.

The recently opened Dead Arcade store is home to Podcast vs Player merchandise, as well as my own art (Broken Pony Studios and the Dead Arcade series). This is also a great means to get our name out to people not necessarily interested in gaming, but they may like some of the merchandise, and thus, possibly check out the website/channel.

It's also a good source of revenue, so head over and blooming buy something!

All joking aside, a store isn't a must-have, we've been doing this for a long time, and only just opened one, so don't put this at the top of your list.

Networking is pretty much the only way you're ever going to get noticed, no matter how good your content may be. Most channels/websites have a big social status, usually FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and many more. Podcast vs Player, pretty much stays clear of everything other than Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, although we've recently started using Discord, and we find it to be a great place to chat to not only like-minded creators, but also fans, developers and more.

As we said in the original post, we're pretty lucky with Twitter, and whilst we don't have a bazillion followers, we have a good selection of high-profile friends, who pretty much do the work for us. Kevin Porter from Bat In The Sun (a terrific movie company) is a really great guy, who re-tweets stuff for us, getting us a lot of attention for a tweet that probably wouldn't on it's own. We have also made a budding bro-mance with Mike Dowling from Obsidian (the brilliant game developers behind Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth) who was responsible for our massive Twitter engagement spikes, thanks to the pushing of our Archer Protocol stuff, which then spilled over to Instagram, which followed with the second piece, thanks again to Obsidian and also Fallout:Temple, who got the pieces to incredible highs.

These moments don't last forever (although there is a little something due from Obsidian that "should" get our Twitter spikes rocketing again shortly), but these moments aren't just about getting the most likes, or getting the most retweets, they're about building up a good relationship amongst peers within an industry that is ever growing.

Nobody ever became successful on their own, and in todays world of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, you'll never have to. Whether it's advice from a bunch of idiots here at Podcast vs Player, or genuine advise from your favourite YouTuber, there'll always be someone who's willing to help.

No matter what we put on here, or what anyone else says, you do your thing. There's no right or wrong way, but, bare in mind that you'll encounter more negative criticism over positives, that's the unfortunate way thing about internet society today.

Take our Archer: New Vegas piece I did for Obsidian, it was merely fanart (whilst also trying to get an Archer game made!), and whilst everyone was, in no modest way, overwhelmingly positive about it, there was one person who had to comment "That moment when Valentine wasn't in nv".

Now, clearly, as the person who drew the entire piece, I was aware that Nick Valentine wasn't in New Vegas, the fans knew this, and the people who made the game obviously knew this, but when you have a character Like Barry, he makes (visually) a great Nick Valentine, so that's that.

But obviously, somebody had to say something, somebody had to remind the artist, the fans, even the developers of the original game, that this character wasn't in it.

This is the internet, this is the kind of thing you'll need to get used to, take note of any criticism, good or bad, but also learn to take any negative comments that offer no means to project anything meaningful, and throw them in the shit pile.

PvP's own Dan is excellent at this. Dan's approach to negative stuff, is simply to acknowledge them and move on. For example:

Internet Warrior: YOU'RE SHIT AND I HATE YOU!
(reply) Dan: Thanks for the comment, we'll take it on board!
(reply) Internet Warrior: FUCK YOU!
(reply) Dan: Thanks for coming back, we value the views!
(reply) Internet Warrior: lol dick
(reply) Dan: Thanks for the feedback!

That obviously was a made up scenario, but you get the point. Trolls are less likely to return if you don't stoop to their level. By all means, interact with the community, but don't put yourself in the firing line by resulting to name calling, even though you probably have a much broader vocabulary than the troll, you'll just look as silly as them, which is never good branding.

Of course, some people may say the opposite, and comedians are brilliant at these kinds of things, and in return, you may get a lot of followers because of your witty repertoire, but that's unlikely.
Ultimately, what you do is completely up to you, our only advise is to do this for yourself, then if you're really enjoying it, try and up the ante, aim for a new level. Being successful doesn't exactly mean becoming super rich, being successful can simply mean getting acknowledged for something you've made, and getting something you're proud of into the hands (eyes, ears) of other people.

Of course, all that plus a fuck-ton of money isn't a bad thing either!

 Callum Povey   PvP Presenter/Website Editor

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