Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Not Another Video Tutorial!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 7, 2016

I get that sharing videos on the Internet is the hot thing. Anybody can do it. It’s got more personality, assuming the person narrating the video has a personality to begin with. But for crying out loud… these days, when I’m looking up how to do something that’s a little technical but not too involved, I’m getting to the point where I am desperate to find the ONE well-written tutorial with some pictures.

While sometimes a video is handy, for something like “how do I do XYZ in Unity”, what I really want is a short article I can read and absorb in 5 minutes, not a 40-minute long video I have to sit through to obtain the same information. SERIOUSLY, folks!

And that’s assuming I found a tutorial that can help me. With a written one, especially an illustrated written one, I can scan it and pretty quickly realize whether or not it’s what I need. This is much harder to do with a video tutorial. And what happens if I need to go back and review ONE STEP? I can find it in seconds in an illustrated tutorial, or I can spend 10 minutes hunting through the video tutorial to find that one spot where the narrator talked about it.

Now, there are times where a video tutorial is exactly what I need. And a written tutorial with smaller embedded videos? And maybe some illustrations too? Okay, now THAT is a lot of work, but the best of all possible worlds.

All I can figure is that anything short of a full-length video is harder to monetize, which is why it’s hardly done anymore. That, or it’s a fad. I dunno. It’s beginning to get to the point where I will scroll through all the video search results in preference for something text based.


Filed Under: General - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Cuthalion said,

    Videos are so much more demanding than text. Which I guess is a weird thing to say, but when looking for information, it is definitely true.

  • BrettM said,

    I have the same issue, so I’m currently building a free Unity tutorial website with text articles + embedded html video + accompanying youtube video.

    Those who need videos can get them, but there will be the text article for the rest of us who actually want to search/bookmark things. Most of the articles will be short paragraphs with bullet points for the actions.

    It’s unfinished, but you can see a WIP preview here – http://st4rdog.github.io

  • Mephane said,

    Oh yes, this is so annoying. Last time I had that was when I wanted to find some collectibles I was missing in a game. Just a handful out of a hundred or so, I didn’t feel like spending hours upon hours scouring every last inch of the game again for anything I might have missed, so I looked for a list with possibly some pictures.

    It turned out there was only a single guide at all, and it was a video. It was well-made, the creator really put a lot of effort into it, but to find the few items I was missing I had to go through all of it, stopping and resuming the video all the time to compare with what I have in the game (it didn’t help that the only way to check whether you have an item was to go to the location where it is hidden and see whether it is still there).

    I totally understand that a lot of guides and tutorials make more sense as a video, when they show and explain sequences of actions, complex game mechanics in motion etc. But for the location of 100 hidden items, the only thing video is actually more useful for is when some of them require actions difficult to describe in text or show in screenshots. Most of the time, a screenshot of the map and the actual item, and a short line describing the location (“under the largest bush right behind the church”) is much more helpful than 1 minute of someone walking to it from a common landmark.

  • Kevin Higgins said,

    Totally agree! Frankly I think it’s because it’s just easier to ramble into a mic than to edit text into something readable (i.e. functional writing is hard).