15 - Some Policy Things and Updates
The next (and final, hurrah!) Uncharted video will be out on Monday. I'm on the video part right now. It's going to be about 80 minutes long. I have a lot of work left to do but this is the part that I can sink a lot of hours in a row into.

I want to talk a little about that. The original idea in my head for Uncharted 4 was to do the opposite of what I did for Uncharted 1, 2, and 3. That was one long, giant video to see how people responded to that. And how it would be received by new viewers.

Uncharted 4 was meant to be split into 2 videos of about 15-20 minutes each--one for gameplay. One for story. To see if long-time viewers would still enjoy it, and how new watchers might be more inclined to check it out.

Of course the gameplay video went over that. And now the story one is a lot bigger too. I have a lot of trouble estimating exactly how much I'll have to talk about in a game until I'm done writing. As much as I try to structure parts of the videos, I put a lot of emphasis on flow--how the script moves from one topic to the next. Even with Part One/Part Two/Part Three breaks, I don't feel satisfied with what I'm writing if it doesn't move smoothly from topic to topic. I'm actually really happy with how the Uncharted 4 gameplay critique turned out in that respect. I think I did it better than ever in that video.

The problem is that it's making me stressed to rush like crazy to finish projects, because I'm an idiot and give a date that I think the video will be done--because the video is only going to 20 minutes long right!--and then it's 4 times that and I still want to make the date. The audio in this next video isn't quite where I'd like it to be because I didn't want to be too far behind my first estimate.

So it took me 11 months to finally accept this, but I think I need to stop giving estimates. The videos will be done when they're done, and I won't give a rough date until I'm on the final part--putting the video to the audio. Which I think will work out better for everyone.

There are a few more things I want to talk about though. The quick one is that I'm thinking about starting a written blog so I can talk about some games without devoting a big video to it. I could also use it as a place to spitball some rough discussion ideas on future videos. I think a separate place for that, and not this Patreon blog post, would be the better choice, right? Something like wordpress? I've never had an official blog before.

The big topic I want to get to is about future videos. Mostly way in the future. Dark Souls 3 and INSIDE are up next, but the channel has gotten large enough now that I'm getting semi-regular emails for promotions. A few have been advertising. Most have been press keys to review a game--essentially a free game.

I tweeted about this the other week and I've thought about it a lot since then. The conclusion that I've come to is that, until I post about it again here on Patreon, that my policy is to not take any of these offers. I'll continue to read and consider each one, but I currently do not feel comfortable accepting anything that might compromise my integrity as a reviewer. I'm not saying that anyone that DOES accept these types of offers is automatically untrustworthy--I'm only talking about myself and how I know that I might not be able to remain unbiased if I know the game was free or anything like that.

Many review sites make this work. But I think the layer of separation there--it's not the REVIEWER that's getting the press key, it's the SITE that then chooses the reviewer--is a significant factor in reconciling special treatment. You could also argue that the developer is getting exposure out of it and therefore just as much, or more, out of their game being shown... I've considered that too.

Someday there might be an offer that I think is too interesting to pass up. If an early key for No Man's Sky came to me (which it won't) then I'd have to weigh the reality that my review being published on the same day that the game comes out might really be worth it to some people when it comes to deciding on making a purchase.

If something like that happens, then my current plan is that: I post about it here beforehand. I tweet about it. I say clearly at the beginning of the video that I received the key or whatever else. And I will talk to whoever contacted me and ask them if it's acceptable that I screen capture all of our correspondence and link it in the description. I think that might be enough.

Hopefully that makes sense. Thank you for your support--both to new pledgers and those who have maintained a pledge for a while. Some of you have been here for months and months. It means a lot.

- Joe

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