Geek0saurus

KSP Career mode playthrough: ideas & feedback

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Hi everyone! I'm Geek0saurus, a starting youtuber (for fun). Over the last months I've been growing more and more into Kerbal Space Program. Because of this, I wanted to make a full playthrough of the career mode with missions, objectives and fun stuff. For this, I could maybe use the help of the community, since I will need a lot of feedback and maybe we can share ideas of bases and things like that.

The idea of this thread is to share my journey into our beloved solar system with you and maybe let it become "our" journey :)

All feedback is appreciated and welcomed and I cannot wait to hear any ideas of base designs you would have to share!

The first introduction to my journey can be found in the following youtube video. Hope you enjoy it!

Introduction to Kerbal Space Program | Career mode

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Feedback:

1. Sound quality is most important for any commentary, a decent microphone is thus the top priority if you want to spend money on streaming/youtubing. People rather watch 720p than listen to sub-standard sound quality.

2. The first episode is most important for any kind of series. People upload a 20 part series on youtube, where something in the first episode is even a little off (sound, video) and wonder why no one watches episodes 2 - 20, which are fine.

3. Unmodded KSP career start has been done a bazillion times and is not even visually appealing. Search for a niche and exploit that, rather than following the beaten path.

 

edit: Your video is a solid start, hope to see more of you in the future.

Edited by Yemo
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6 hours ago, Yemo said:

Feedback:

Snip

Considering the very true statements above. @Geek0saurus, why would the audience watch your video?  

Assume everyone found no reason to even click your link. And then change their mind. 

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12 hours ago, Yemo said:

3. Unmodded KSP career start has been done a bazillion times and is not even visually appealing. Search for a niche and exploit that, rather than following the beaten path.

 

6 hours ago, Spricigo said:

Considering the very true statements above. @Geek0saurus, why would the audience watch your video?  

Assume everyone found no reason to even click your link. And then change their mind. 

 

I too have toyed with the idea of doing a YouTube "Lets Play" on stock KSP career. My rationale for this wouldn't be to grub for views or money, but to offer another point of view or way of doing things. It seems like a lot of new players come to the forums looking for help or advice, and the standard response is "Look up Scott Manley on YouTube." While I think Scott is a great resource, I know that when I first started playing the game years ago and I was told to go look at his videos, sometimes they just didn't click for me. For certain concepts, I had to search around YouTube looking for other players and see their suggestions and advice before finding one that did click. So, having more points of view can be helpful, even if its already been done to death. I guarantee, my start to stock career is very different from the usual, and seeing that might be beneficial to other players.

As for feedback on the OP video: get a better mic. Sound quality was definitely an issue for me. The content of your video was solid, though a bit "sloppy" for my tastes; ie: launching your first vehicle with the parachute deployed in the same stage as the booster, and just ignoring it because "it shouldn't really matter; normally it should be alright." I cringed at that. Failure to check your staging before launch is a critical oversight that leads to the unplanned disassembly of many spacecraft, and sets a bad precedent for the noobs.

Good luck with the video series!

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First of all, thank you very much for your feedback. What you state is indeed true and I should indeed change all that.

I'm going to invest in a better microphone once I get the money for it (a bit short atm).

Furthermore, I indeed saw that stock career starts are quite common on youtube, but I can't really start with big base missions in career mode without giving some context about why i'm doing stuff. The first episodes are kind of the backstory of everything. The "solution" i'm trying to use at the moment is only mensioning (Ep.X) at the end of the video title and to start with the content of the video, so that the backstory (the series) becomes less important that the missions themselves. For the first 6 episodes it's more backstory and after that I think i'll try going with titles like "KSP: Mun Space Station build in 3 launches | KSP Stock 1.3 | Career mode playthrough (Ep.8)" or something similar. In the end the "episodes" will be kind of optional. Anyway, I will try to find a niche like you said, but it is not easy with all the youtubers playing the game already. At the moment SSTO's and reusable rockets are kind of "hot right now", but i'm not there yet.

Anyway thank you very much for the feedback, I will keep it in mind! 

 

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1 hour ago, Geek0saurus said:

 At the moment SSTO's and reusable rockets are kind of "hot right now", but i'm not there yet.

SSTOs and reusables have been "hot" since 1.0 came out with all the changes to the aerodynamic model. Personally, they aren't my cup of tea, so I enjoy seeing fresh YouTube content that isn't all SSTOs and such.

My idea for a YouTube LP series was to show that stock career doesn't have to be grindy and repetitive. There is a lot you can do early on in stock career with the limited parts and funds, and it doesn't require expert skill level at playing the game either. In my stock career games, I'm orbiting the Mun on my 3rd launch, and doing manned Mun landings by my 5th launch. And I'm also just taking the basic contracts and not wasting a lot of time part testing or doing tourist runs or biome hopping to grind science. You bring that up in your video, about early missions being similar and repetitive; it doesn't have to be that way.

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I skimmed your video and I'm going to echo the comments above. Here's what I saw:

- The same old first launch everyone does.

- The same old second and third launches everyone does.

- Right-clicking.

- Building the same old rocket everyone does.

If you can keep up some lively banter like, oh, maybe NorthernLion*, then it might work, but this is stuff that has been rehashed so many times that it's just mind-numbing. If you really want to start a career mode game so that you can play career sandbox missions later then consider tightly editing the first twenty or thirty launches together into a single video so your viewers don't have to watch the same old career start over and over again.

You have pretty much zero chance of holding my attention. If you can capture another audience or are just making these videos for fun then good on you, but career mode is utterly boring to watch, especially stock career mode from the beginning, and it has been done before, to death.

My suggestion to to hearken back to the early days of KSP Youtubing when sandbox was the only thing available.and people had to get creative. They launched big, bold, audacious, innovative missions. Grab yourself some planet packs or something and go elsewhere, do big, creative missions. Things like this:

Whenever someone posts a Maccollo video I usually click it because I know it's going to be good, but if the title contains "career mode" (especially if it's a low episode number in a series) I don't bother because there isn't going to be anything new in there. If you're hell-bent on playing a career then skip the early stuff and start playing when you're doing those big, bold things that are interesting to you. If you're into huge base-building and things then make that sort of content. If you're interested then it's easier for others to be interested, but the content also needs to be somewhat fresh.

E: And listen, don't get me wrong, make the videos you want, I'm not trying to discourage you, but I would encourage you to try something a little more fresh.

 

 

* I'm actually not even watching his new series despite his banter because it's the same, same, same, same, same as everything else out there for career mode. Even Scott Manley is barely holding my attention with his current series.

Edited by regex

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I'm going to disagree with the earlier sentiment and say there's nothing wrong with doing an unmodded playthrough on YouTube.

Keep in mind many of the old videos started in an older version, as far back as 0.18. A lot has changed since then. I for one would love to follow such a series, just to see how someone got through the science path in a recent version and what their take is on what routes are useful and what activities could be explored early on.

You can always do a mod run after :-)

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4 hours ago, Johnny Wishbone said:

 It seems like a lot of new players come to the forums looking for help or advice, and the standard response is "Look up Scott Manley on YouTube."

As a frequent dweller of Gameplay Question & Tutorial subforum, I can only say that is not my standard response. Actually I had similar experience with Scott's videos: stumble upon it when learning the ropes, appreciated it, but was not really working for me. Seems I just didn't fit in the core of his audience, which is not a problem for me and even less for him, I just moved on. Nonetheless he pretty much set the parameter used to compare others KSP Let's Play series, and he will stay as the easy response while "Just started, some advice?" still get asked on a daily  basis.

Quote

So, having more points of view can be helpful, even if its already been done to death. I guarantee, my start to stock career is very different from the usual, and seeing that might be beneficial to other players.

The problem is: I find the start of stock career boring enough when I'm playing it, there is little chance I will take the time to watch someone else doing it. But present me that in a interesting  way and I will take a look, maybe even point out next time someone ask me for basic and general advice. Convince me that its worth my time. Or, if I'm not in the target audience, convince them to take a look.

 

5 hours ago, Geek0saurus said:

Furthermore, I indeed saw that stock career starts are quite common on youtube, but I can't really ...

Putting it bluntly: not my concern. I'm just a random guy that get in contact with your video and is not interested in YetAnotherKSPCarrerSeries. You may just ignore me (actually I can  think of a few good reasons to do so)  or you can present me good content. That is up to you, your decision and your goal.

From my perspective:

  •  I look at the video so I can offer the advice you asked for;
  • 4min into the video, and don't even want to play it, let alone watching someone else playing it.
  • skip to ~15min. A odd looking rocket deployed at the launchpad. I thought it was the first orbit attempt and discovered is just going out of the atmosphere. I'm considerable disappointed by now
  • skip to ~20min. I don't take more than a split seconds of consideration for what contract I will take next, not interested on your.
  • Finally the first orbit, still nothing interesting

I know that is harsh. Unfortunately is also true.

If you want my attention (or at least people with similar expectations) there is lots to be done. To start, I suggest do some planning before recording, someone looking for guidance will quickly move away from someone looking as unsure as themselves. It don't ever matter if you reached the proposed goal, but people want confidence.

23 minutes ago, Mast said:

I'm going to disagree with the earlier sentiment and say there's nothing wrong with doing an unmodded playthrough on YouTube.

No, there is nothing wrong, and no one said otherwise. But the idea there seems to be produce something people want to watch and unfortunately people don't watch something just because there is nothing wrong with it.

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19 hours ago, Geek0saurus said:

I'm going to invest in a better microphone once I get the money for it (a bit short atm).

The first episodes are kind of the backstory of everything.

Having done just this a while back... they're not kidding about the sound.  I had a decent amount of interest in my opening series, but there was just too much going on with the vocals at the time.  Things to look into:

A superior sound card.  Don't bother with the one built into the rig, you literally won't hear what some of the other people are.  Get yourself a good one.  I personally use a Scarlett 2i2 these days.  This is step one.

Next, Free Software: Audacity.  Get it and learn how to scrub your vocals for background sounds... like computer fans, A/C fans, Overhead fans, ... fans.  Many fans.  Kill them.  I'm not sure what you're using to scrub right now, but it's modulating the heck out of your voice... if that IS your voice, you have a curious accent I'm not familiar with.

Finally, the microphone: You can get them at a reasonable price at Guitar Center.  Do NOT get a Condenser microphone unless you plan to build a sound booth.  They're wonderful, but they pick up the echo from the kitchen when you're upstairs with the door closed.  Get Dynamic.  Additionally, look for a supercardioid or hypercardioid mics, or at least cardioid.  Omnidirectionals (the standard) will pick up your typing heavily and all the echoes off your desktop.

I own a SoundBlaster Rage with microphone and it works just fine for talking with buds on TeamSpeak, but it was complete crap for recording.  I've seen some amazing sound come out of headsets though... just not the Rage's.  It might be worth poking around at some streamers with inlaid pics who are obviously using a headset mic with good sound and asking for advice about what equipment they're using.  My guess is they're the high end headsets, but I don't know.  I've had almost no luck with any of the medium level ones.

Finally: EDIT.  Oh gods, edit.  Timewarp.  Jump Cut.  Unless you're a professional comedian and you've scripted 30 minutes of banter you're going to work with, no one's that entertaining constantly.  IE: So, here's my workhorse satellite, and this is going to orbit (voiceover in the NLE while you speed up the launch, point out the characteristics or interesting bits)... and *this* is 30 launches later when my comm network was built chasing a few dozen easy satellite contracts.  This was my other mistake... I needed MORE editing, not less.  I did a lot but simply not enough.  I don't know if you did this or not, honestly.  I skipped around a bit and decided I didn't want to watch it.

If someone wants to watch someone play, they'll boot up streaming services (ie: twitch) and actually watch and interact.  For YouTube, a straight to screen dump with a title and an end card just won't cut it for KSP unless you've built up an audience elsewhere and are doing it as filler drops for your primary series to keep the channel active. 

Since you have 10 subscribers and mention you're new, you want to look into NLE's (Non-Linear Editors).  These allow you to heavily edit your scenes for your video(s).

In general, the best one for me has been Premiere Pro from Adobe.  It's $20/month subscription just for the current one.  Buy and forget include Pinnacle and Sony Vegas.  Pinnacle and Premiere Pro are relatively similar in their commands, Vegas was a significant departure and I really didn't like it.  I found both Pinnacle and Vegas too buggy once you started to use more than 3 or 4 video channels at once, but ymmv.  I had very little luck working with the free softwares out there for what I wanted it to do, but it's worth poking at them to find out if you even want to work with them at all.

All that said: Good luck.  It's a hobby, expect to invest time, practice, and money into it, or it's the equivalent of a newbie clay molder showing off their new ashtray.  My earliest videos certainly were ashtrays, thankfully I was just doing a challenge proofing at the time so a lot of good folks helped me out.

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Thank you all for your feedback. I see now more clearly all the things I do wrong, and it's a lot more than I tought.

I started youtubing 1,5 months ago and I see that every one of my vids is better than the one before, but indeed I still have a super long way to go and you guys accelerated my improvement process.

Bad news is that I already made 8 episodes of the series and I see now that most people will find the 5-6 first episodes boring and repetitive. I didn't really prepare the first episodes because I tought they were mostly a grindy part that one had to go through. I was wrong and should have made them more special.

In the later episodes I do plan my missions and try them out first and I cut way more than in the first episodes. On mission 8 for example, I went from 3h30 of footage for the mission to approx. 25min, so I think it will be way more interesting to watch. I'm really curious about what you will think about the later missions. Unfortunately as you mentioned, I might have failed at retaining the attention of people who watch the videos.

I think i'm going to work like this for now: i'll upload 1 video every 2 days of the vids I have and in the meanwhile i'll buy a mic and try to get my sound right. Hopefully by episode 9 you will see a big improvement if you are still around.

Thank you all for making me understand why I only have 10 subscribers in 1,5 months, I now realize that I need to get way more quality in my content (read: cut a excrementston of stuff out).

Cheers!

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Parts 3 and 4 are also to be found on YouTube, as well as part 5 being uploaded right now. The content starts being more advanced in 1 or 2 videos! :wink:

Further exploration of Kerbin!

First encounters with the Mün

Currently working on a Duna rover base (movable science lab) and a first SSTO maybe (still working on the craft file in sandbox)

Is there anything special you guys would like to see?

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I don't know about your policies on reverts, but my most interesting times have been while dealing with damage and its consequences.

Not random part failure mods, but actual incidents such as scraping a tail fin off while landing on Minmus.  Which (a few weeks later due to KAC & many simultaneous missions, so a total surprise) then resulted in a flat spin 20km above the space center as soon as the vehicle dropped to subsonic speeds with a marginal fuel balance.

Getting that one down safely required some IRC commentary, a bit of experimentation, most of the altitude and creative use of the VTOL thrusters, but it was a very awesome landing for 100% recovery minus the tail fin and fuel.

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15 hours ago, suicidejunkie said:

I don't know about your policies on reverts, but my most interesting times have been while dealing with damage and its consequences.

Damn what you did sounds awesome! If I have a stranded/crashed or damaged spacecraft at one point or another and I think I can save it, i'll try doing a rescue mission on it, because rescue missions are just so cool and add some story in it as well :)

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