Your Austin Videogame Writer Recommends Mr. Tumnus – SNL

Your Austin Videogame Writer has been surfing the deep video rabbit holes on YouTube and he’s found this little gem for your nerdly appreciation. Enjoy!

Warning: may or may not be game writing related. But isn’t video content inherently writing-related?

Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy) meets several women who have recently arrived in Narnia.

#SNL #JamesMcAvoy #MeekMill #SNL44

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PewDiePie Makes $15M/Year and Is a Racist


I haven’t watched much PewDiePie but occasionally I’ve enjoyed one of his playthroughs as a way to get a sense for a game. Now, after he’s been dropped by Disney and YouTube, I realize from the reports that he’s a dirty scumbag and a hero to neo-Nazi hate groups. (I also realize he was pulling in $15M per year for his goofball videos. WHAT?!?!)

This is yet another sign that the Internet is making it so we can’t have nice things. It used to be that you could watch baseball, play videogames, and pretend for a few isolated moments every day that we can all coexist without hating each other based on superficialities.

But no, that’s no longer the case. Baseball’s now political (I cite the congressional hearings where Democrats and Republicans lined up on party lines to support or criticize Roger Clemens for PED use). Choosing a home improvement store or a pizza delivery service is now political. And watching a freaking game playthrough is political.

I blame you, PewDiePie. Die, PewDiePie, die.


Do You Watch Your Friends Play Games?

Not everybody enjoys watching others play videogames, just like not everybody enjoys others play sports. There’s something about games that demands that hands-on experience.

Of course, a big part of it depends on the style and personality of the person you’re watching. If you’re a stealth gamer, you probably wouldn’t enjoy watching a brawler barrel through levels, for example.

But assuming you’re watching someone who plays like you do, or perhaps faster than you do (!), do you enjoy watching them play? Or are you itching for them to get an urgent call from their significant other?

I don’t love watching gameplay video, but I’m watching theRadBrad on Youtube right now. He’s got a pretty good style, he moves quickly, and he’s got a friendly, funny energy to him.


Videogame Writers Are Important #4

Far Cry 4: Egg on Face

You know, videogame writers aren’t perfect. We make mistakes and typos, and sometimes our producers and teammates create mistakes and typos in their well-intentioned efforts to fix mistakes and typos. Such is life.

However, sometimes a videogame writer gaffe is just so glaring and ill-placed that it has to be called out for the amusement of all. Such is the case with this ripe goose egg that some poor Ubisoft game writer dropped in Far Cry 4, released November 2014:


Yep. Unlike oxen struggling under the yoke of a cruel farmer, the poor people of Kyrat have suffered under the yolk of a civil war. ‘Cuz the war is like a rotting omelet — full of bad eggs. Bad eggs that had to be cracked.

It’s a prime facepalm moment, especially when you consider that it’s front-and-center in the most elevated prose in the entire game: the online handbook on your location. In other words, one of the first things you see when you open your inventory and start looking around. And it’s also the primary text that’s supposed to give you a feel for the world and your motivations for fighting/playing in it.

Videogame Writer Redeems Self

However, in the eyes of the internet, our nameless videogame writer (or, frankly, probably some other game writer or designer on the same team) redeems him or herself with some funny radio chatter writing.

I found this kudo by searching for “far cry 4 yolk” — part of my due diligence to make sure this game writer goof wasn’t already beaten to death on the intertubes. The only hit was this one foul-mouthed and funny Youtuber who transcribed the yolkishness verbatim in the detail description (click SHOW MORE) of his video.

So I watched the video for a bit, and sure enough, the Youtuber gives a great shoutout to the game writing at a minute and twenty-eight seconds in:

This radio guy is actually pretty funny if you listen to ‘im… ‘Pissing out champagne and shitting caviar,’ awesome! Who comes out with this shit?

There ya go. Day in the life of a game writer. Here’s the full video:


YouTube Quality: The Hack

YouTube Quality Puzzle Solved By A Blogger Who’s Not Me

YouTube video quality is a mysterious thing, especially since they run their own compression on (most? all?) video that’s been uploaded to the site.

Even more mysterious is how to get YouTube videos to default to high quality when you embed them on your own website.

Recently we were facing the YouTube quality conundrum for some new South by Southwest music videography that we posted up at the main Sparkleworks site. How do we get YouTube to default the video playback to high quality? We’d encoded the video to the perfect H.264 settings, so we were generally pleased with the high quality YouTube performance, but getting it to default to that quality setting was another issue.

Blogosphere to the rescue. This is excerpted from Jason Kottke’s excellent Visit the original post to find out what Jason says about linking to high quality YouTube videos, defaulting your YouTube prefs to high quality, and saving high quality YouTube videos to your local digital smarmitude.

Embedding high quality YouTube videos:
The &fmt=18 trick doesn’t work here, but a similar trick does. For each of the URLs in the embeddable code that you get from YouTube, add &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 onto the end, like so:

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=” &ap=%2526fmt%3D18“></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

If you want some high quality YouTube video, this is the sacred path. Tread lightly.

And now, in honor of Jason’s technical helping hand, I present you with some Bang Camaro from South by Southwest 2009, live from Lovejoy’s in Austin, Texas. Those Guitar Hero II fans out there will recognize this tune. The rest of you will probably still enjoy the sight of forty-seven amped-up lead singers on stage simultaneously: