Matt Chat 74: Dune II

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This episode features Westwood Studios' real-time strategy game Dune II, the game that launched the genre. It also marks my first attempt at using a green screen! Enjoy, and, as always, please let me know what you think of the game and the video.

Comments

Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I know I had fun playing this

I know I had fun playing this game, but my memory was a bit foggy. So thanks for reminding me.

Keith Burgun
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Joined: 09/06/2010
Great video, Matt

Hey Matt, wonderful work as always. Learned a lot, and might end up checkin' out that Dune novel - I don't read a lot of fiction, but I'm trying to repent.

I have a couple pieces of specific feedback for the video. Firstly, I love the theme song, please do not ever change it! Every time it comes on, I am pumped. I also appreciate the low-end "boom" that plays when the video is over. One thing you gotta work on a little is getting the volumes just right... there are times when the game is louder than you, or at an equal volume, and that's tough to listen to. I would say bring the game volume WAY DOWN when you are speaking. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the "superimposed Matt over the game footage" idea. It obscures the view of the game, it looks weird, and I just don't see the use of it.

Anyway, keep up the great work! Like I keep on saying, you're doing a very important public service with your work.

Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Different Strokes
Keith Burgun wrote:

Also, I'm not a huge fan of the "superimposed Matt over the game footage" idea. It obscures the view of the game, it looks weird, and I just don't see the use of it.

Heck, I LIKED the "superimposed Matt" effect. A lot!!! I didn't feel he obscured anything important (a static game interface), and it added "character" to the proceedings. It wasn't overdone, so I thought it was really cool.

As for the audio, I didn't notice any major problems, although I do all my computer stuff wearing headphones (an old habit from my high school days). Perhaps audio dynamics are different with headphones vs. normal speakers.

Either way, we're still in agreement on the overall Matt Chat enjoyment. And on fiction, which I don't read much either. I'm one of the few that didn't really enjoy the book "Dune" that much, actually.

I also liked the choice of game this week, being that "Dune II" is still my favorite RTS of all time.

Keith Burgun
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Joined: 09/06/2010
While we're on the subject

One last piece of feedback... I watched this with a LADY and she said she has a major crush on you, Matt. She likes your nervous laughter =]

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Hehe, too funny. I have been

Hehe, too funny.

I have been struggling with audio for a long time. Obviously, I have to do all this without a budget, so haven't been able to buy optimal equipment. The result is that some parts are recorded with a cheap lapel mic and others recorded with a more professional setup (Shure mic, M-Audio, etc.) I'd love to record it all with the Shure, but it has limited range and is too hard to disguise. I made a few episodes where I was talking into it, but the comments said it was cheesy looking so I went back to the lapel mic. I'm not really sure what to do here. The only thing I haven't tried is some kind of boom and an omni mike, or perhaps a directional mic that was more sensitive than the Shure. If I just use the camera's mic, I get lots of noise and it sounds like I'm far away. So, the short of it is, I probably need advice and some more equipment to do a perfect job here.

The green screen is my new toy, and it was over $100 so I had better get some good use out of it (plus it takes up most of the living room). I will forgive myself for the last episode because it was my first time using it, but in the future I hope to do a better job. I agree that it's silly to use it without good reason, and I'd never intentionally block important parts of the footage. What I thought would be really fun was do what Terry Jones did in his great Medieval Lives series. He'd use the tech to put himself inside medieval paintings and tapestries, and do some fun editing to make them appear animated. I thought I could do that easily with games (since they are animated anyway), but it does require forethought. In any case, I think it should be okay regardless as long as I don't overuse it. It could be a nice way to keep a longish video from lagging, especially if you're staring at not-so-exciting gameplay for an extended period.

I heard somewhere that you need to cut or do something every couple of minutes to keep the viewer's attention. I've tried to do that with my "pro tips," gags, and of course cutting to different ports of the game or showing a game box, photo, image, concept art, etc. This is just one more tool in my tool chest.

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Keith Burgun
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Joined: 09/06/2010
It's simple.

Nah man you're over-thinking it! Your audio quality is fine! I dig the lapel mic - the problem is just VOLUME level. While you're talking, simply turn the volume of the game down significantly. Doesn't your video editing software allow that?

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Sure, I can do that, no

Sure, I can do that, no problem. Can you tell me specifically at what part of the video the game audio is too loud? That would give me a good basis.

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Keith Burgun
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Joined: 09/06/2010
Hmm

Like, around 8:40 or so; it's not that it is incomprehensible or anything, it's just that the volume levels are JUST similar enough that they "fight" a little bit. As a general rule I would make the game audio slightly TOO quiet if anything while you're talking. If you want people to hear the sounds and stuff, just leave some space where you aren't talking and have the volume be up to a normal level. This is really more of a "polish" issue than a problem, your videos are great as they are, just trying to help make them even better if possible.

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Dune II

This and civilization and later on red alert I played those games a lot. Love the green screen action. Great stuff again Matt

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