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Aug 19, 2011

Quick Links: SSLP Test Poster Rules LP Archive Master List Tech Support Fort


No low-effort or garbage posting. Previous Sandcastle threads have gotten bogged down with really bad posts about nothing. Having a breezy discussion is a-okay, but please don't start flinging mud at each other or posting useless, single-word responses. If you feel like you need to ask yourself "is my post low-effort garbage?" then it probably is, so don't make that post! This is a very simple rule, so please don't try to over-analyze it.

Don't make let's players prove their merit. Everyone is allowed to post whatever kind of LP of whatever game they want, so long as it doesn't break the rules. This means that if someone wants to do the 15th LP of Dark Souls 3, you shouldn't dissuade them just because there are a lot of other LPs of that game on the forums already. Similarly, if someone wants to do a screenshot LP of Super Mario 64, don't dogpile them to tell them how bad of an idea you think it is. Providing constructive criticism is encouraged, just don't try to stifle people.

Read this entire post if it's your first time doing an LP. Okay I guess this isn't a rule, but I still highly recommend it! You might miss out on a good standard practice to follow or some really good tips, and then some jerks might make fun of you for it! And that's not a good time, trust me.

Y'all were really well-behaved in the previous thread, so props for that! Now onto the OP proper:

  • Do post a test post if you're not 100% confident of your perfection. For screenshot LPs, do use the SSLP Test Poster.
  • Don't post an interest check. If you don't know what that is, read this whole post.
  • Do ask for help in the Tech Support Fort if you're unsure of any of the technical aspects of doing an LP.
  • Don't break any of the rules of the forum.
  • Do feel free to talk about anything LP related that doesn't fall into any other thread. Take a look around though, there are threads for recommendations and requests if that's what you're after.
  • Don't use this thread as a dumping ground for your low-effort garbage posts.

Welcome to the Let's Play Sandcastle! This thread is for general discussion of any topic not covered elsewhere in the forums regarding Let's Play threads. It's also the place where you can make a test post to see if there are any issues to resolve with your LP before posting it.

Even if you think you know this all and you've read previous versions of the thread, give this post a quick read. I promise it won't take long.

SSLP Test Poster
This really nice tool (courtesy of Baldurk) is how you avoid filling up this thread with dozens of screenshots of your favourite JRPG. It supports the same bbcode as the forums, so you can paste your OP into there. It also provides a handy link for you to post in here.

Everyone posting in this forum should read this thread, for obvious reasons. The rules cover everything that will get you banned or probated so make sure you have read them. If you have any questions or want elaboration, feel free to contact Fedule or myself for more information. We're always glad to help!

The Tech Support Fort
The Tech Support fort is the place to go if you have any technical questions about the mechanics of how to make your LP. If you want to know how to use your recording software, or what recording or editing software you should get - post in here. The Sandcastle is generally only for the more subjective aspects of your LP, or for any more general and high-level questions.

An LP-specific image host, oriented to keeping separate updates and things. There is a rightload plugin available here, for which you will need the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable installed. Set your username and password and (optionally) a gallery in the options. If there are any problems with it, post in this thread or contact Baldurk (email).

The Let's Play Archive
The archive is where all LPs that were posted and completed on this subforum go to be preserved forever, if the LPer wants them to be. Baldurk works tirelessly to make sure all archival requests get put up there as close to their original format as possible. You can find a more in-depth explanation here.

If you run into any archive-related issues you can post about them right here. If you have any questions, comments, bug reports or feature requests you can also contact Baldurk directly.

The Master List
The Master List contains as complete as possible a list of all Let's Plays that have been started on this forum. It was written to provide all the functionality needed for locating and updating information about Let's Play threads. If you want to find a thread, you can browse or search - but be aware that by default, abandoned threads have been hidden.

The Master List is not automated, but is a community project. In order to update out of date information or add new info on the list, you can log in with these credentials: [SALP / snatched]. If you notice any vandalism/incorrect info on the list, feel free to fix it. If you don't know what it should be, or there is a significant amount of destruction, contact Baldurk (email) so he can take care of it.

Master list issues - anything that is related to the master list can be posted about right here in the Sandcastle. If you have any questions, comments, bug reports or feature requests you can also contact Baldurk directly.

Recommendations, Requests
If you're interested in reading rather than making LPs - these threads are for you. The first allows you to post or read recommendations for past LP threads you have read and enjoyed. Read the thread OP to make sure you know the rules for recommendations. The second allows you to request an LP that hasn't been done - make sure you check the master list to see if it has been done before.

LP Announcement Thread
Making Let's Plays is all the rage nowadays; everyone's doing it! And because of that, it can be easy for new LPs to end up lost in the shuffle. That's what this thread is for! Whenever you launch a new LP, you can make a quick post announcing it in this thread. This way, everyone has an easy way to stay up-to-date on all the new LPs coming out.

Co-Commentation Station
It's not always easy to find someone to talk over video games with you. If you're looking for someone to co-host a Let's Play with you, give this thread a look! Many kind goons have offered to put their vocal cords and expertise to use wherever they may be of help. And if you like the idea of co-commentating on other people's LPs too then hey, maybe you can add your name to the list!

Unofficial Let's Play Discord Server
This is the place where LP subforum regulars get together to have a chat about whatever subjects they fancy. Discord is like Skype but for cool people. All you have to do is make an account on and then the link above will take you right to the server. Make sure to be on your best behavior, lest you be shunned for all time!

: What is a Let's Play (LP) thread?

: It's a documented playthrough of something that, at the very minimum, resembles a game. How the author chooses to present it is incredibly varied. Some use screenshots, some use video. Some let the readers make decisions, others plow on through and use the thread for discussion. Some are serious and informative while others are comedic. You can find a lot of examples on the LP Archive already - details above.

: How can I ask if anyone is wanting to see me LPing this game? What is an interest check?

: There's no point in posting an interest check without something to show for it. An interest check is just asking whether people want to see an LP without actually putting forth some significant sample content (more than just an OP).

For the most part, people won't really care if you LP the game or not, and it's very difficult to judge whether an LP would be interesting or not without seeing an actual update of it. If you want to know if people are interested, make a test post - don't just post "Would anyone like to see an LP of this game?". This applies no matter how much you have to decide before starting, or if you're unsure about how to LP the game. If you're not ready to put in the effort to make an LP without knowing how many people are going to be interested then you probably aren't ready to post an LP anyway.

: Can I have my thread archived? What about this thread I really like, but I'm not the author?

: Any thread which has been completed can be archived - just email Baldurk with the link to the thread, and he'll sort out the rest from there, getting any information from you if you're the author. If you have any specific requests or instructions feel free to include them in the email.

It's recommended but not required to include an archive blurb - a 160x120 image and a paragraph short enough to fit next to it without overflowing, see the top of the front page of the archive for examples.

It's up the the author of an LP to decide whether the LP gets archived or not. In other words: only send archival requests to Baldurk for LPs that you're the author of.

: What is a test post? Why should I make a test post?

: Running a Let's Play thread is a lot of work. There are a lot of unforeseen problems that can crop up when making one so it is best to make a test post - it costs you nothing but a little time, and lets you gauge how people are going to react to your thread. This is especially true if you have not done an LP before and have no experience of what issues may come up, but a test post is almost always useful to some extent no matter how much experience you have.

A test post can vary depending on the LP, but usually will consist of an early update. This means it isn't just your OP - since that usually doesn't tell people anything more than what the game is about. It's useful to post your OP as well to give the first update some context, but make sure you post an update.

Also consider that if your first update will not be representative of the whole game (due to excessive tutorial sections or other reasons) then pick a later update and post that. The idea is to give people an idea of what your thread will be like so they can point out potential problems.

You should use the Off-site Screenshot test poster to post your test post if it's an SSLP, so that pages of this thread don't get overloaded with images.

However, even with all the above applying, test posts are not a requirement. Just a very, Very good idea.

: Has anyone LPed game XYZ before?

: The answer to this can be found in the master list - details are above. However it is worth noting that there is no rule nor stigma towards LPing a game that has been done before. Don't rush to LP a game in case someone beats you to it. No one cares about who LPed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare first except for you.

: I'm not the OP in a thread. Can I contribute my own playthrough?

: The short answer is, maybe. Some LPers prefer to keep their LPs focused on their own content. That said, a lot of LPers and most thread posters will appreciate the bonus content which may show off something the OP had no plans to cover. Either way, make sure you ask for permission first.

: Is there a rule against X? Am I allowed to do Y?

: This isn't the rules thread. Ask a mod - more details are in the rules thread.

Here is a specific note about ROMs, emulation, etc. (Reprinted with permission.)

Louisgod posted:

1. Do NOT talk about how you acquired a ROM, where you got the ROM, when you got it, and so forth. Just because you're posting in Let's Play! doesn't mean you get immunity from any kind of warez discussion.

2. DO NOT EVER ADMIT TO PIRATING A GAME. Seriously, stop. There are no exceptions to this rule. From this point on if you admit to pirating a game, whether to share impressions or to say that you're buying it because you pirated it, you WILL be banned.

3. Do not post links to sites that host emulators, ROMs, or any sort of illegal file. Doesn't matter if it's a link to a site that hosts links to other sites, just don't post it. This goes for any type of file. On that note, torrents are not allowed either.

: What image formats should I use?

: Although this is technically the ground of The Tech Support Fort this is restated here for emphasis. I highly recommend reading this guide before posting images in this forum. You will learn some useful stuff about image formats from it!

Archiving LPs: Info from Baldurk (Oct 24, 2015)

baldurk posted:

Whew! As of now the archive queue is officially cleared out (including one request that came in while I was writing this post . I'm really sorry it's been going on so long with a large turnaround for one reason or another. If you have something you're waiting on me for then resend it, since it must have gotten lost along the way somewhere. There are a few dozen LPs out with authors now waiting for the go-ahead, and I already saw one person who didn't get my email reply, so now is the time to poke me with anything.

I'd really like to try to keep up with the queue better in future, I don't like making people wait months. I've improved the tools I use to try and reduce some tedious manual work, but I also wanted to mention a few things people can do to make the archiving process quicker. I don't want to be anal but hopefully none of these are difficult or time-consuming for authors.


How to make archive requests more betterer

  • Send me an email rather than PM, and put the game name in the subject. This is a minor thing but whenever I get a PM I just send myself an email about it, to keep everything organised in one place. I also get a lot of emails that are just titled 'archive request' etc, it's easier to keep track of everything if the subjects are more descriptive.

  • If you have an image-based table of contents, send me the names of updates as plain text somewhere. The update pages have to have titles, so if your updates aren't named anywhere else I have to transcribe them. It doesn't have to be in your thread - you can just send me a list when you send the archive request. All I need is the update names in a list with the same number of entries as your table of contents, and I can magic up the rest quite easily. This only applies if there are actually update pages behind the links, not if it's just a set of images with youtube links.

  • The archive layout limits images to 900px wide. Any larger than that and they'll need to be thumbnail-linked or resized down, so ideally bear this in mind when making your LP. If all of your screenshots are 1024px wide or something I can do a quick batch process to resize them down, but let me know in advance if you want me to do that.

  • This is the big one, make sure the table of contents in your OP is clean and definitive. What I mean by definitive is that any posts not linked in the table of contents won't be included, so if you have bonus posts or two part updates that you double posted they both need to be linked and titled somehow. Also just speaking as a reader if you're regularly going over the character limit consider just splitting your posts up more - massive updates aren't great to read.

    Fan art or bonus posts that are immediately after the OP are fine though, just mention that you want them included and I'll append them onto the main page.

    Side note: the table of contents order will be the order of previous/next links in the updates otherwise things get really confusing. I've had a couple of requests to have separate TOC and reading order, so this is a heads up to arrange your TOC in whichever order you'd prefer most. Also this is entirely up to you, but bear in mind that the update pages will all be numbered 'part 1', 'part 2' etc so if you have an update numbering like chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 2b, chapter 3 - that will disappear in the update page titles and just be replaced by the sequential part numbers 1 through 4.

If a request comes in where doing something along these lines would save me a ton of time, I'll probably start asking people to do that. Also in the past I tried to do the queue entirely in-order to be fair, but I think going forward I'll jump the queue if there's an archive request that'll be really quick to do that's behind some 1-hour monster.

Somebody fucked around with this message at Mar 6, 2017 around 06:12


Aug 19, 2011

Happy posting, everyone!

Aug 19, 2011

Jsor posted:

So why is this thread rebooted after 100 pages? Does the database cry with all the image links or something? Just idly curious.

I've actually wanted to rewrite the Sandcastle OP for a while now because it had a lot of outdated information in it. The old Sandcastle getting to 100 pages was just a good excuse to do so!

The reason I made a new thread instead of just editing the old one is that I didn't want to trample all over Geop's post. That wouldn't be polite, in my opinion.

Aug 19, 2011

nine-gear crow posted:

Now that there's a new thread up, might I suggest editing the OP to include links to the sticked threads that have gone up in the time since the last Sandcastle thread was posted, like the New LP Announcement thread, the Stream thread, and the Co-Commentary catalog thread?

Sure! I'll take care of that in a bit.

Aug 19, 2011

Edmond Dantes posted:

the first 5 minutes of the video is "let's walk thorough cobwebs and things that look like giant spider eggs".

It's just misdirection.


Aug 19, 2011

Party Bug posted:

Hi I'm playing Dark Souls 3 with a fightstick. Here's a video: 3RD STRIKE

Please let me know about any video/audio quality issues or if I'm bad (i'm bad).

This is really good. The only recommendation I want to give is to maybe position a desk lamp or other light source above your hands next time you're recording, if possible. It'll improve the readability of your handcam and make it look nicer in general. The game could stand to be a bit louder, especially during cutscenes when you aren't talking. Otherwise you're looking and sounding good to go.

Shoutouts to Tasty Steve.

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