Part 25: How Stayton Makes a Let's Play Thread PostHello welcome to the special features part of this archive. While making this thread my video card failed toward the end. To keep things going while I waited to get new parts I made several posts to get things rolling. This is the first of those posts. I'm putting it in here because I'm hoping someone finds it helpful in deciding if they want to do a Let's Play thread. I hope you all enjoy this peek into my creative process. Note: I should really provide links to all the little bits of software I've used to make this thread, but I'm feeling pretty lazy right now. A Google search, or quick visit to SH/SC should help you find most of this mostly free software.
Step 1: Decide where to start.
The first step actually beings before I finish the previous update. I divide the game into chapters, these can be arbitrary, but I usually put them after a boss fight or when you arrive at or leave a town.
Step 2: Play the game and take screenshots.
This is actually the easiest and shortest step. The best program I've found to do this is the ZSNES emulator because it does both. It's actually the only one I've found that does both. The images are just a bit smaller than I'd like, but on the upside they're under 10kb each so they're easy on waffleimages, and modems everywhere.
Step 3: Image sorting
Using Infranview I look through all the images I took and delete any duplicates, things that just don't seem to have a point, and things I can't think of something funny to say about.
Step 4 (optional): Animating
If I'm going to make some animated gifs for this chapter I move those images to a separate file for animating. The first part of this process is converting the PNG files to GIFS. Until half way through chapter seventeen, I didn't realize that Infranview, the program I'd been using all along, actually had a mass file conversion and renaming feature. This is unbelievably useful, as it can take some time to change the images one at a time.
I then create an animated gif using an old (but free) copy of Microsoft Gif Animator. It's a very bare bones program, with a clunky interface, and few if any features, but it is also free.
Step 5 (also optional): Image editing.
If I think an image needs to be blown up, or otherwise have a feature emphasized, I use yet another free program called Photofiltre. This program sat unused on my hard drive for a year, but I've really come to appreciate it. When MS Paint won't cut it, and adobe programs are too expensive (and probably overkill). Photofiltre really works nicely.
Step 6: Actually Write the chapter.
This is where I try to come up with something funny and original, but mostly end up making consensual and nonconsensual buttsex jokes. Once again using Infranview I view each image, and write along to it. Here's how it might look in Word
Wow Mindy, this boss creature is quite large.
I hope it doesn't try to rape us!
Rawr I'm giant drool intensive boss, and I'm going to rape you! This is because I'm evil and therefore a sexual deviant of one kind or another!
I work my way through all the images in this manner, until I run out of images of course.
Step 7: Actually Make the post
Writing the chapter is by far the longest and most time consuming process. Making the post is the most arduous because you've already written the post, and proofread it but missed a bunch of obvious spelling and grammatical errors. So it's the third time that I go through the same material in a very short period.
I take advantage of another great and free piece of software during this step. A quick visit to the SH/SC part of the forums will teach you about the Something Awful Last Read extension for Firefox. An extension made by our fellow goons, if you aren't already using it, you probably should be. It's primary use in this step is the waffleimages button in the quick reply window. This one little button makes this final step many times easier, and it virtually automates the image upload and place image link in thread substeps. Once all the images are properly positioned the thread is posted for all to enjoy.
Step 8: Think of a new way to praise/thank An Pan for yet another amazing piece of artwork.
Eighty percent of the time this compliment should include the word awesome.
Step 9: Look back at the thread, see a glaring grammar error, correct it.
I do this virtually as many times as I re read the post.
Step 10: Walk away from the computer and do something else for a while. After ten minutes jump desperately back to the keyboard and repeatedly to see if someone has replied yet.
I'm going to be doing this step in about eleven minutes.
Well I hope everyone found that educational, or at least informative. I'll try to make more posts like this in the near future, to at least give you something to read while we've got this downtime.