What's your favorite episode of Matt Chat?

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Matt Barton
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Hi, guys. Please humor me for a minute. I've been studying the various episodes and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. So far, my research has been inconclusive. It seems...random what people like, which videos get the most views, how long they watch, etc. So I thought I'd try another tack.

Which of my "Matt Chat" episodes did you like the best? If you're having a hard time choosing one, maybe mention 3-4 that you thought stood out in some way.

Here's the "big five" as far as I've been able to tell:

1. Planescape: Torment. A mention on Game Banshee propelled this one into 2000+ views and made it my most viewed video.
2. Dungeon Master. This one is getting views based on YouTube search engine. I'm not fond of the video.
3. Elite. This one got some coverage after I posted about it on a comment for GamaSutra.
4. Plato. This one got some moderate coverage and 1500+ views.
5. Metroid. Another search engine victory here.

Pool of Radiance is also quite high, but I'm guessing that's just because it was my first and thus attracts attention. I think I should probably delete or remake those early videos at some point, since people might get the wrong idea if they watch the first few (which were quite poor). I'd like to hear your opinion on this.

In short, though, I can see little to no correlation between 1-5 here. The key seems to be either to (a) get it mentioned somewhere or (b) find a search engine niche that others haven't filled. That's about all I can figure out.

At any rate, my favorites are always the last one I made. :)

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Bill Loguidice
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I think you're not giving

I think you're not giving people enough credit. As long as you clearly mark it as "Video Response to..." people will know it's not a "Matt Chat". It seems silly to me to think that you can only post fully edited videos under your blacklilywhateveritis account. That's like saying on Armchair Arcade we can't post anything but fully polished blog articles because people will think that's reflective of our work in general. As long as you make clear what the situation is, I would think every normal person would be able to accept varying levels of production. I stopped worrying about that long ago and I think that's very healthy. Essentially make everything as professional as possible for a given situation. Sometimes that requires our "A" game and lots of time, sometimes that requires our "C+" game and very little time. It doesn't mean the "C+" work is bad, it just means that the same amount of time or expectations were placed on it. I think within reason output is trumps ultimate quality control.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
My favourites are the videos

My favourites are the videos about games I haven't played before. Ironically - to attract people to your channel, you probably have to make videos about very familiar, popular games.

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks

Thanks for the comments and insights, guys, much appreciated.

I've thought about doing some video responses and what not, but have hesitated for obvious reasons--the big one is that it takes me all day to do a Matt Chat; if I start taking on extra videos, I might end up burning out. I could just "slap something together," perhaps a quickie webcam response or what not, but then that might turn off people who are accustomed to the quality of the episodes. They might be like, "Oh, there's another Matt Chat!" and watch it, only to be disappointed by a "quick and dirty" response video. I know that has happened to some of the folks I subscribe to; they have so many rough videos up that it's really more of a broken up Skype video chat than a channel.

I can't really think of a way around this problem. I could create another account to do them, but that would defeat the purpose of using it to get more views. I do wish YouTube had a more robust discussion option on their videos, though, since I certainly don't mind making detailed text responses.

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Bill Loguidice
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Two things. One, don't

Two things. One, don't re-record the old videos. They are what they are. Even professional shows evolve over time. The best example of this are The Simpsons shorts that look like they were drawn by mental patients, versus the high definition cartoon 20+ years later that is still on. Two, I agree 100% with Rob in regards to why certain episodes were picked up on. It's obvious what will get the most views, but that will ultimately make for a pretty boring show if you just cover the hits. Just like AA, you're better than just doing the obvious.

I think one way for you to get more exposure is to do more video responses to other popular videos as "Matt Barton from Matt Chat". Cross promotion, just like cross linking, can only help.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
My thoughts, and you knew I would comment on this.

Matt, I'm not going to blow smoke, and I'm going to tell you what I liked and didn't like about your videos thus far.

I can't say I have a favorite. It seems that every new episode is my favorite. I, like many of your "devotees," wait with baited breath each week for a new Matt Chat! But I will tell you what I didn't like. And what I didn't like has little to do with entire episodes, and more to do with individual parts of some episodes. And yes, I'll tell you what I like(d) too. But keep in mind that, either way, it's just my individual opinion, and others may disagree.

First of all, some advice. Forget about redoing earlier videos unless you are REALLY, REALLY embarrassed about the quality of a particular video and it's needling at you. I don't think it's necessary, unless you're getting a George Lucas complex. Even the least of your videos surpasses, or at least equals, whatever else I've found on YouTube. Rather than redo a video (if it is bothering you), you might want to "revisit" a certain game to add more details and such. Although I think you'd be wasting your time either way.... especially when you could be covering another game! The next thing you'll know, you'll be embarrassed about the REMAKE and want to remake that!

There is clearly a technical production quality increase as your video series progresses, but that's to be expected. So what if your earlier videos aren't technically on par with your recent ones. What other video series doesn't follow this same trend? Your earlier videos are great also. Lighten up. Wouldn't you want people to see that you have improved as time went on, or would you rather present the illusion that your production quality has remained stagnant? Just keep moving forward; that's my advice.

First of all, what I like... Pretty much everything so far. The commentaries, the production values, the choice of games. etc. Your commentary is key; always top-notch and interesting. And they seem to be getting better and better; you seem even more relaxed and jovial in your latest videos. I like the fact that you actually appear in the videos personally, but don't take over the whole thing. You've got just the right balance of "personal appearance" with in-game video. You look cool, and it adds to your videos. If you looked like a dork, perhaps I'd feel differently.

I like it when you show other related games (i.e. precursors) in your videos. You haven't done this much in your latest videos, but I still enjoyed the recent videos regardless.

I like the funny quips at the end. Always entertaining!

I like the shirts.

I like it when you show various versions (different platforms) of the same game.

I like the contests, although I personally don't have any incentive to participate (I've already happily paid for the books). The contests are cool. Let me know when the "Ferrari" contest is coming up. :-)

What I don't like: pretty much the only thing I haven't liked is when you dwell on a game's theme music ("Metroid" and "A Rockstar Ate My Hamster"). That is a bit geeky, staring at a bland title screen while dreary music is playing for half a minute or more. Since you're not speaking during these sequences, and nothing is actually happening onscreen, it's almost close to "dead air," as they refer to it in broadcasting. Well, that's just my opinion, like I said. Others may feel differently. And this doesn't apply to "cut scenes" or "cinemas" that you include, since they are always interesting on their own.

Other things commented on in the past were technical issues that you've already overcome: lighting and sound issues. And they didn't really bother me that much. At all, really. Not like the "dwelling on the music" stuff.

Some have commented on the length of your Matt Chat "intro." It doesn't bother me at all, really, and the music is really cool. But since others have complained, it might be something to consider (which you already have, actually).

I loved your recent "Tomb Raider" and "Jade Empire" Matt Chats. Your "Rockstar Ate My Hamster" video was the first game you've covered that I really wasn't psyched to play afterwards, though. I couldn't tell you why. Your commentary was great, and the video was entrancing. The "dwelling on the theme music" didn't help, though. (The music wasn't that great, IMHO). I just wasn't really interested in the game, though. It might just be my taste in games, although it does sound like a game I would enjoy. Yeah, really, I couldn't tell you why I wasn't psyched to play the game afterwards; it may have just been my mood at the time. The video was still very entertaining, though, don't get me wrong.

It appears that your "hit" videos were largely because of factors outside of the quality of your Matt Chats. "Metroid" and "Dungeon Master" are major classics, which will of course drive up views. The other "top" videos gained attention through mentions in other dedicated communities or sites. I don't think this reflects on the quality of your other less popular videos. It just seemed like you chose the right game at the right time, and fate took over.

What lessons you can take from that, I don't know. Perhaps, in anticipation of an upcoming sequel to a popular series, you can release a video of the original. For example, let's say the new "Mario Party XXXIV" just came out. People will start searching for "Mario Party" on YouTube, and your video will pop up in the results.

I don't know. Maybe I'm too geeky, but I've enjoyed ALL your videos thus far, and in fact look forward to each new release! My only "negative" is the music stuff, although I understand why you are trying to draw attention to that particular great aspect of a game. But this minor negative didn't seem to hurt your "Metroid" views! And this "music" gripe only applies to two of your 30+ videos!

Your videos are great! All the comments I've seen on your videos seem to concur with my opinion, so I know it's not just me.

By the way, perhaps a video response from you to some of the more popular videogame channels might draw some of their crowd to you! I've discovered some cool video series by checking out a video respondee's channel!

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