Friday, 14 June 2013

Reflections on creating a Gaming Channel : Getting Youtube View and Subs

Hello Guys,

To be perfectly honest, I started my Youtube channel with the thought that it would be real cool to have someone from the other side of the globe watch me play games. And till this day I sill remind myself that that's the most important point despite all the talk about potential monetization and all that stuff.

However, video making is not a simple process. Occasionally, I feel a little tired or disappointed when the quality of my recording is not to my liking. What continues to motivate me is the number of views that I am getting. Its not much but its always very VERY encouraging when a single person leave a short note saying that enjoyed the video or leave a quick thumbs up. It feels really awesome when someone decides to subscribe to my channel. This tells me that they believe that I will continue to produce videos that they are interested in. Therefore, I gradually realise why views and subs are important to Youtubers (youtube creators).

Some people see views and subs as a numbers game that brings them a step closer to monetizing their youtube channel and I cannot fault them for thinking so. But right now, viewers bring me encouragement and that's really important to keep me going. I see little incentive to do sub4sub or view for view just for the sake of it because both parties would unlikely be active subscribers / viewers and I would love to see my subscribers continuously come back for more videos on my channel.

Some strategies for promoting : 

Just in case you are interested in promoting your channel I have researched online for some tips and methods.

1. Obviously you can look for people who do sub4sub or view4view.
2. Highlight your video or channel on Twitter / Facebook / Website.
3. Make posts on stumbleupon or reddit.
4. Be active in forums such as yttalk and perhaps fellow youtube creators would check out your channel.

My personal strategy : 

I was inspired by some fellow youtube creators who continued to produce excellent content. They always keep me going back for more and they have a knack for keeping me engaged throughout the 20min or 45 min video. And that's what I would like to achieve. Produce quality videos that attract viewers and get them to come back for more everyday, all day.

Well, that's some of my thoughts.
Do pop by my channel and take a look at some of the video. Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe! (Some shameless self-promoting) :D

That's all folk.

Signing off~

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Political Machine 2012 : John Kerry vs Donald Trump

Hello Guys,

I've been trying out an older game that I bought : The Political Machine 2012. Its a simulation of the presidential elections based on the situation in 2012. We can pit different candidates against each other. These candidates can be historical or plain fictional from our creations. In my let's play, I pick John Kerry and face off Donald Trump. My strategy is to take advantage of Donald Trump's low credibility stats in the game and formulate a strategy to weaken his position. However, he has loads of cash ....

The Political Machine 2012 : John Kerry vs Donald Trump - Part 1

The Political Machine 2012 : John Kerry vs Donald Trump - Part 2

The Political Machine 2012 : John Kerry vs Donald Trump - Part 3

Who will win?

Check it Out!

Signing off~


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Civ V G&K : Sweden 1 city challenge

Hello Guys,

I am pretty excited about the upcoming DLC for Civilization V. The new dlc is believed to be called A Brave New World where the culture aspect of the game is enhanced. You would be able to do tourism and trade on a wider level and also acquire cultural artifacts to boost your culture rating.

Admittedly, I have not been playing Civ V for quite a bit so I have taken up the game again in the effort to get more familiar with it a prepare myself for the upcoming DLC. I have recorded some gameplay footage playing as Sweden in Civ V : Gods & Kings. This game was played under the constraints of a one city challenge. I am not sure whether its going to be easy but I am going to give it a try.

Civ V G&K : Sweden 1 city challenge - Part 1

Civ V G&K : Sweden 1 city challenge - Part 2

Civ V G&K : Sweden 1 city challenge - Part 3

More episodes would be coming up. Feel free to make guesses on what the outcome will be and comment on what you would have done or not done.

See you guys.

Signing off~


Reflections on creating a Gaming Channel : Recording Gameplay and Recommendations

Hello Guys,

I have been doing quite a few gameplay recordings and there are a couple of things that I have learnt. Recording let's play is not as easy as I thought it was...

What I had previously thought : 

1. Its just recording myself play! No pressure!
2. Since my computer can play the game, it should be able to handle the recording ... right?
3. Any microphone will suffice.

Reality / Recommendations :

1. I feel like I will tend to try harder in a game when I play to record. Its like I feel as if I have an audience and my audience could be my girlfriend, some other girl I am trying to impress, my buddy who would be looking out for weaknesses or just my mum (kidding). It is not as easy as it seems because I now have to talk and play at the same time. Speaking intelligently while playing is not easy. I have to think about what I am going to do in game and also think about what to speak simultaneously. Its very easy to do either one .. but both at the same time? All I can say is that practice definitely helps. My advice : try to relax and game. People want to watch people enjoy the game. Its just that plain and simple.

2. Recording will strain your computer more. Period. Your screen capture software will consume some RAM, some GPU (graphics processing unit) power and CPU power. They add up and will slow your game a little. As a result, take some time to play around with the settings and settle on one that you feel comfortable.

(i) Try different recording software. In my earlier post, I highlighted that FRAPS, while being a solid software to capture high quality video, tend to lower FPS a fair bit. Bandicam on the other hand tends to maintain your game FPS while holding onto a medium quality video. I recommend prioritizing video clarity and FPS. And this can be achieved by reducing some in-game video settings in combination with the appropriate software.

(ii) Try out different Codecs. Video recording software uses different 'language' to convert your video into files. Different 'language' uses different number of 'words' to convey a message. Using less 'words' or hard disk space will lead to some loss in video quality but we can usually find some middle ground to have a good balance of quality and hard disk space. There is no point using 500GB of HD space to record a 1 hour video. I doubt you can recorded a lot of footage at one go on your Hard Drive and the time taken to render a 500 GB video .. unimaginable.

3. Get a better mic. That's something that I realised after trying out the recording process. I started off with my built-in laptop mic and I found a lot of backgound noice being recorded. I upgraded to a headset mic but I found a lot of 'popping' sounds recorded. I am presently trying out the Blue Snowball Mic and I will let you guys know how I feel in subsequent posts. Right now, I feel like its a pretty decent improvement and I hope my viewers feel the same.

Alright. That's all form me.

Signing off~


Friday, 7 June 2013

Wargame Airland Battle : Deck recommendations for Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark,Sweeden)

Hello guys,

I have been playing Wargame Airland Battle for quite some time now and I have tried out various decks by mixing the nato and pact decks together. I have also tried out each of the countries' individual decks and I found strengths and weaknesses in each.

Fundamentally, it would be the best to have a mixed deck such as a nato or pact deck. Most of the national decks have some form of weaknesses that can be compensated by each other. Correspondingly, using a singular country deck would expose you to some pretty crippling weaknesses.

Scandinavia deck

The Scandinavian units generally lack direct firepower in their tanks. Their front armor, with the exception of the Swedish tanks, are rather weak and will be taken out by a single well placed ATGM shot. Their infantry is pretty much on par with the major nations and that is a relief. Basically, most of their units will be out classed by the major nations but they make up for this weakness by having access to more activation points and relatively inexpensive units. More activation points mean that you can bring in much more units than your opponents can in the battle map. And the fact that your units are cheaper mean that you can bring in units much faster that your opponent can and thereby overwhelm him and gain important territories which will gain you further deployment points to bring in even more units. You can imagine and powerful feedback loop here.

I have suggested some builds in my deck creation videos and you might want to consider the choices!


Swedish (Sweden)

Danish (Denmark)

These are my recommendations for the Scandinavian nations. I have focused mainly on bring in inexpensive units supported by some powerful ones.

Do give them a try and let me know how they fare!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Let's play Wargame Airland Battle Campaign Scenario 1 : Die Hard Part

Hello guys,

I tried out the campaign for Wargame : Airland Battle by Eugen. It is a brilliant game and the campaign was designed in the form of a 'dynamic' campaign similar  to that of the famed Total War series. It is a refreshing improvement from the linear and uninspiring campaign that I played in Wargame : European Escalation.

In this dynamic campaign, your actions on the battle map will directly influence you on the campaign map. For instance, if the AI wins, then you will find that you have lost some territory on the campaign map. Correspondingly if you win, you are rewarded with the necessary morale points to win the scenario. You can watch me play the first scenario in this video.

In the following video, you will see that my victory on the campaign map wins me the necessary territory to achieve victory for the scenario. This campaign mode seriously makes me want to up my game and take each battle seriously. Because I know that there is an incentive to win. In addition, there is a time limit for the campaign and as a result you do not have infinite time to win and therefore it to your benefit to win all or most of the battles.

This is undoubtedly a great game and the campaign is a nice change. It provides a significant challenge and I am sure that you will spend time trying out the scenario repeatedly to carve out a win.



Monday, 3 June 2013

Let's play Prison Architect alpha 10 : Prison No. 1

Hello Guys,

I took the plunge and bought Prison Architect from introversion software ( It has been a really fun experience where I design my prison and decide where to place all of the facilities. Place them too far and your guys spend too much time to get there and too little time to use the facilities ... e.g. toilet. However the space is limited so you have to prioritize the facilities you want to make more accessible and allow less utilized facilities further away. Watch me play a simple design that I created and view the results for yourself!

Click on the prisoner and read the back story of your guy. He can be a murderer or a thief. Or someone who commits a white collar crime. A point to note : bringing in low risk prisoners does not mean they have a tame history. It only means they are NOT CONVICTED of the serious crime. Haha. I had a good laugh when I realized that. I read about people who murder their friends and dogs but are not convicted. Our legal system ... really....

Fighting, rioting and complaints are a common occurrence from prisoners. They will lead to blood being spilled and objects being damaged. You will find your blood pressure rise when you pay for all the damages your PRISONERS did while they COMPLAIN that the facility is not usable because of the damage ... the irony indeed.

This this video I find out whether my design can satisfy the occupants of the prison. I quashed multiple riots and ..... can we survive? Or do we need to start over....?

Watch the video to find out!


Thursday, 30 May 2013

10% discount for Prison Architect Alpha 10 on Steam

Hello guys,

I think Prison Architect is an amazing sim/mangement type of game by Introversion Games. They just tweeted that there is a 10% discount on the alpha version of the game on Steam so check it out! I think I am going to make my purchase soon. Look forward to recording the Let's play!

Signing off~


Reflections on creating a Gaming Channel : Interactions and monetization

Hello guys,

Its been a while since I created my gaming channel on youtube ( so I thought I'd Pen some thoughts.

Having my own channel taught me a couple of things. Firstly, I now understand why youtubers frequently ask or even beg for subscribers, a comment or a like on their video. It takes time and effort to make a simple video much less a video that requires editing to eliminate imperfections. I do sometimes re-record videos altogether if I find them to be below the quality threshold I set for myself. And sometimes the games I play just aren't interesting enough so I have to stash them. A simple gesture such as a like, a comment or a subscribe provides a tremendous encouragement to youtubers and let us know that SOMEONE out there cares about our video enough to pen a comment or click on the like button.

Monetization is something that youtubers frequently think about. However I am realistic that it is probably going to take some time. This is because the quality of my videos can only improve with consistent practice and maybe some hardware upgrades, e.g. the microphone or the graphics card. I strongly discourage youtubers from making videos with the intention to make a fast buck because it simply does not happen quickly and even if you do enable monetization, you are likely to be getting less than a dollar over a fortnight because no one has discovered your channel yet.

Make videos because you love gaming and want to share your gameplays. That will help to keep you going and make videos over the long term. I am sure that will gradually build up your fan base. As for myself, I have a day job doing some theoretical chemistry and I record gameplays when I am gaming. I am considering the possibility of doing some streaming on Twitch Tv but let's see how it goes.

Let me end off by thanking any readers or youtubers who comment, like and subscribe to my videos/channel. Thanks for the encouragement. I do hope I can improve on my videos and provide the entertainment you guys are looking for. 



Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Recording a video for youtube : Fraps vs DXTORY vs Bandicam vs Camtasia

Hello guys,

I have done a couple of video recordings on youtube myself and I thought it would be informative to share some of my insights on how videos can be made.  The series would span over a few points with each post focusing on different aspects of the video making process.

Fraps vs DXTORY vs Bandicam vs Camtasia

I have used Dxtory and Camtasia for a fair bit of time and also tried out the full demo version of Fraps and the semi-functional Bandicam Demo.


Camtasia is an excellent desktop recording software that can allow you to edit, crop, zoom to any part of your desktop and also record your voice. It is very user friendly and the first video editing software that I tried and liked. It is very good for recording powerpoint presentations or any video that requires step by step explanations.

Pros : 

1. The company has education prices for students and people who use the software for non commercial purposes. I am suggesting that you can either try out the software demo or purchase the educational version of the software prior to upgrading to the full commercial software so that you can get a good 'feel' of the video editing process.

2. Unlike the other 3 softwares, Camtasia includes a video editing software and therefore it feels like a '2 in 1' bundle that makes it more value for your money.


1. There has been complaints about issues arising when exporting recordings, particularly gameplay to be edited on Adobe or Sony-based Video editors.

2. The software does not record most video games like Farcry and so on and so forth. ( Disclaimer : I am not sure if they have improved on it with recent patches)


The oldest and most reliable software around. Almost everyone who have a serious interest in video recording have heard of Fraps at some point. It is very reliable. Records gameplay with high clarity together with your microphone and game music.

Pros :

1. Very reliable.
2. Updates to the software are free.
3. Very CLEAR recordings

Cons :

1. HUGE files - This could be a potential game breaker because huge drive space is required. Example : a couple of minutes of recording would bean tens of Gigs of hard drive space.
2. Will, in most circumstances, lower the FPS of your gameplay and cause LAG unless you have excellent computers. Will need to lower the graphics of your game to obtain smooth recordings. 

Bandicam :

This is a program that is made by a chinese company I believe (I could be mistaken but I have seen posts on forums saying that the parent company is a chinese company). Nationality aside, it is relatively reliable. There are much more customizations available as compared to Fraps. You can do screen shots and change the resolution that you would like to record in. By lowering the quality of the recording and / or using different types of compression and codecs you can get reasonably good quality recording without using huge amounts of space.

Pros :

1. Relative good quality of video recorded.
2. You can use different codecs and settings to lower the space needed for recordings.
3. There are clear instructions on their website explaining the steps required to export the video for various movie editors and render them.
4. Will not lag your gameplay like Fraps.

Cons :

1. Slightly lowered quality compared to Fraps - this might be a gamebreaker for some. Especially those very picky regarding the visuals of their recording.


This is a video recording software by a Japanese company. The mode of payment is in the Japanese Yen. I was fortunate enough to purchase the software when the Yen was a little weaker. Alright, back to the discussion about the software. This software has a lot of customization options as do Bandicam. A couple of those stand out. You can record (SEPARATELY) your voice recording, your gameplay recording or any music in the background for youself. It allows you to select between different audio streams and record them separately for your editing preference in your video editing software such as Adobe or Sony. Another key feature is the ability to record in multiple drives. For video recordings, the quality of your video is not only limited by your Graphics card, it is also limited by the speed at which your computer can 'write' onto your hard drive. By separating the 'writing' process into different drives, you can obtain higher quality recordings because you no longer experience this limitation. 


1. Prices might be worth considering as the Japanese Yen is slighter weaker recently.
2. Ability to record to multiple drives simultaneously and no longer will your video quality be limited by speed of your hard drive.
3. Ability to record audio streams separately for editing.
4. Ability to customize codecs to achieve high quality with keeping video size small.


1. Regardless of the strength of the Japanese Yen, the software is comparably more expensive than Fraps or Bandicam. Only Camtasia is slightly more expensive.
2. The settings appear to be more complicated.
3. The forums tend to be catered towards their Japanese audience and you may find English conversation a little awkward. However I find that I can still get the support I require.

For those who wish to record their desktop, only Fraps, Bandicam and Camtasia fit the bill. Among which I would recommend camtasia since it has an in-built video editing software so you can save some money instead of having to purchase additional software from Sony or Adobe.

For those who with to record their game play and want no compromises in quality, Fraps is your best friend. To those who seek a compromise then Bandicam and Dxtory are to be considered. I do not recommend camtasia for gameplay recordings.


Powerpoint/Desktop recordings:

Camtasia > Fraps > Bandicam

Gameplay recordings :

Dxtory > Bandicam > Fraps

Bandicam and Fraps are pretty close in my opinion but I lean towards Bandicam a little more because of the ability to customize the options and achieve a smaller recording file size.

Do send me a comment if you have questions and I will try to answer them. And do check out my youtube channel if you with to see the quality of Dxtory recordings. My newer recordings are done with different settings and is therefore of slightly better quality.

Signing Off ~

Let's try : Wargame Airland Battle Tutorial

Hello guys,

I started a Let's try for the tutorial campaigns for Wargame : Airland Battle. I feel like I am still learning from the campaigns despite having played a lot of the multiplayer. The first tutorial made me focus on my micro skills. Do check it out!

Enjoy the video and have fun guys.

Signing off~


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Let's play Game Dev Tycoon Demo!

Hello guys,

I gave Game Dev Tycoon demo a try and I played through the first 5 years. It was a pretty exciting experience where I made hits and some misses. I made a surprisingly large number of fans and lotsa cash too!

This is a new game by indie developers Green Heart Games. Do check out my video and go to their website to make a purchase if you like the playthrough. And of course, if you would like me to do a complete playthrough don't forget to let me know in the comments section.

Do give the video a like, comment and subscribe for more!

Signing off~

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Let's try : British (UK) deck for Wargame : Airland Battle

Hello guys,

I tried out the British Deck I created for Wargame : Airland Battle Beta multiplayer to test it out. The recording is in the embedded youtube video. Do give it a look to see if the deck works as advertised!

Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe!

Signing Off~


Thursday, 23 May 2013

New Youtube Channel

Hello guys,

I have a new Youtube Channel. Its called TheJohnHDGaming. I thought the 'The' in front made the name a little cooler so I went with that.

The link :

I am currently focusing on Simcity and Wargame : Airland Battle Beta videos.

Here's a video making some suggestions as to what to include in a pure British Deck for Wargame : Airland Battle Beta.

Please fee free to pop by in and don't forget to Like, Comment and Subscribe!