Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tips on Making a Rule Explanation Video with Two People in Different Locations

Someone asked me to make a video on how to play Hoboken to share with their friend.  Excitedly I said of course, but then I was faced with a problem, how do I make said video?  The challenge is that Dr. Wictz is not in fact one person, but two (just like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde without the evil), and I wanted both of my personalities to appear in the video.

Quickly, I got together with myself and I hatched out a plan on how to put together a rules video with two two people in different locations.

Separate Video from Voice

The key innovation I came up with was that I can record voice and images separately, with the images being only game components.  This allowed me to have both of my personalities in the video (Aaron & Austin) without ever having to get both of us in the same place.

Write a Script

To keep both personalities on task I wrote a script.  With two personalities, we can easily talk over each other, forget a key point to the game, and ramble (ok, that is just my personality, not because there were two people involved in making the video).

With a written script, I could just focus on saying what needed to be said and not worry about if I was missing something.  All I had to do was look at the script and ask myself if that part was finished or not.

Recorded Different People at Different Times

Writing the script took loner than I expected, so I was not able to record both of my voices at the same time.  Luckily, with a script I did not need to record both of my voices at the same time.  Each voice could make a recording and the recordings could be put together at a later date.

Each Person Reads the Entire Script

Just because I thought pre-recording one personality should say one thing and the other personality should say something else does not mean that was the correct decision.  By having both voices read the entire script I could elect to make any combination I pleased based on who sounded better doing what.  It also speed up the production process because if one voice did something wrong than I could check to see if the other voice did it correctly.

Google Hangout

A Challenge I had was how to record the voices and get it all to the same spot.  That was the magical moment when I realized the internet provided me a solution through the magic of youtube google hangouts.  I could have each each voice record a google hangout that I downloaded to get the audio for the final video.

Separate Video & Voice Bonus

As I watched the final product all put together I discovered one more bonus of recording voice and images separately, I realized that when I update the game components I only need to re-record the images, not the voices.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Dr. Wictz List: 6 ways a Board Game Designer would Rewrite Tax Rules

Being tax season and all I have not had as much time to sit back and write.  So in honor of tax season I am listing a few ways tax rules would be different if they were created by a board game designer.

1.  All rules for taxes would have to fit on 4-5 pages or less.

2.  The rulebook would not be filled with exception after exception.

3.  How to do your taxes would be communicated with infographics. 

4.  Expected time to complete learning the rules would only take half an hour.

5.  Rules would have undergone blind playtesting before publication.

6. Rules would be designed to be accessible for casual players.