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.