Poll: What do you look for in a Let's Play?

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Thinking about doing a co-op Let's Play soon, and for the sake of them, I'd like your opinions on what you look for in video game Let's Plays. This is more of a simple curiosity I've had, of course I'm still going to do them the way I like.

Commenting on why you chose your answer is also well appreciated.
Thank you.

Good visual quality and a commentator with a non-annoying voice who knows not to speak over the game's dialogue.

Oh, and of course I have to be interested in the actual game.

I'm generally fairly easy going. The only thing I really don't like is being annoyed.

Lets player's normally annoy me when you can tell they are trying to hard to be funny. They are saying inane stuff like "oh snap!" to everything and they don't acknowledge the times when the viewers actually want to watch the game.

I was watching a Mass Effect 3 demo let's play yesterday and I was so annoyed by it I had to just turn it off. The guy would just not shut up. He wasn't funny and he just kept rattling on and on.

My favourite let's player is AlChestBreach. He's hilarious.

But if you aren't someone who is abnormally funny, don't try to be. There are plenty of commentators I enjoy who aren't particularly funny. As long as they make me interested in the game, I'm cool with it.

For me, it has to be something of a combination.

While I wouldn't say comedy in and of itself is important, the LPer has to have an engaging personality.

The game, of course, needs to be something I actually am interested in.

The LPer should have some knowledge of the game going in.. they don't have to be perfect by any means, but if I'm watching a LP I don't care to see someone dying at the same part 63 times in a row. I just don't find that entertaining. If you end up having trouble with a part, don't be afraid to edit the video to make it more watchable. For example, show the first couple of deaths, maybe a really close attempt or two, and then the successful run.

If I'm watching a full LP of a game, I don't really need it to be from a review style perspective, but actual commentary about what is working in the game and what isn't is a plus. Also, try to bring something extra to the experience like some personal knowledge, personal rumination on characters/plotlines, etc.

I'd say everyone has their own tastes in an LP, but it's most imporatnt to bear in mind that there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of LPs out there for bigger titles. In some ways it's less important to worry about how exactly to make your LP stabd out than it is to just make sure that it does stand out.

For me, it is a combination. First, the game should definitely contain information on the game as most of the Let's Plays I watch are to avoid playing it myself yet still getting to experience the game through the videos. I have never played all the way through a Half Life game as I got bored pretty early in but I enjoyed experiencing it through a Let's Play once and also enjoy the unfinished "Freeman's Mind" LP.

Comedy can make me do a second look at a LP. Also, if the game has to do with character progression, I like hearing why you are investing in things the way you are or why you are choosing the gear you are.

Really, I am pretty lax and don't think any particular formula is better than another. For me though information and good pacing is the best attributes if I had to pick them.

It should be funny, but not stupid or childish. The person doing it shouldn't have a voice high enogh to break glass, and they should play games their own way, and not any other way. Also, leave your failures in.

I look for comedy, but I primarily look for screenshot LPs. They're easier for me to handle.

Not that there's anything wrong with video, I mean 2 of my top 5 LPs are video. I just find I enjoy SSLPs better...

Comedy and informative. I'd only watch let's plays of games I'm interested in and can't play like a beta, so Yogscast Guild Wars 2 Let's Plays worked out quite well.

Although if they are genuinely funny that alone would suffice.

Good visual quality and a commentator with a non-annoying voice who knows not to speak over the game's dialogue.

Oh, and of course I have to be interested in the actual game.

The non-annoying voice part is essential. There have been a few LPs which I've stopped watching after 10 seconds because of this. There is no way in hell I'm listing to somebody mumbling nasally for several hours. I know they can't do anything about their voice, but that won't make me enjoy listening to a noise that annoying.

They just have to be interesting. That's my only requirement for an LPer. Oh and their voice must be non-annoying.

I prefer Blind runs though, when someone's rattling through the entire game all "right this is gonna happen next, here's the optimal solution blah blah" I find myself getting turned off. In fact the only proper "walkthrough" i've ever fully watched was Sixbullet's ME2 walkthrough. That man is just awesome, he went through the entire of Killzone 3 ranting about how superior the Helghast were.

Failthroughs are more interesting to me. There's this one guy called Toegoff who somehow manages to summon bugs and glitches to any game he LPs and he fails at basically anything you could possibly fail at.

If it's a video LP, a good voice (i.e., one that isn't annoying, nasally or whiny) is a must-have. Also, knowledge about the game is appreciated, and chemistry between the main player and anyone with them is good too. It doesn't necessarily need to be comedic, but causing a chuckle or two throughout is welcome.

If it's a screenshot LP, then a coherent voice (whether it be a narrative or a commentary) is needed, and I prefer my screenshot ones to make me laugh hard. Obviously, game knowledge is another needed quality.

Comedy, mainly inventive insults.

For that reason alone I watch British LP's. Tempted of doing one myself, I apparently sound rather English.

Comedy. Other things are helpful, but that's what will keep me interested.

Sadly, many people aren't funny.

And not being recorded from a tv using a camera by a 12 year old helps.

A person who genuinely enjoys the game he is playing. Also, a bit of humor here and there is always welcome, but rarely people succeed in it.

I like a person with a completely random sense of humor. Crazy references and habits.

Like the guy that did an Oblivion Let's Play where he had a skull in his inventory for the entire game and he kept asking it for advice. And humming Fallout 3 music when running across Cyrodiil. I like madness. And somehow only British Let's Players are genuinely funny.

And I look for someone who actually knows how to play a game and wants to play the game. Not someone who spends 3 hours on the first level of Dark Souls because he just hasn't the patience to learn the mechanics. What I hate as well is someone who continually asks his audience for advice. Just play the damn game and stop complaining! If I want an opinion on a game I watch a review, not a Let's Play.

Pretty much humour/ comedy otherwise if I wanted to watch a Let Play I may aswell watch my brother of my friend playing the game instead (well not anymore since my brother and friend lived elsewhere).

Humour is what make me come back to watching more of it (the game itself or the cutscene is again may aswell be watched from Youtube).

I guess I look for Boatmurdered, seeing as that's the only one I've actually looked at.

-Humor at appropriate times and also a humor type I enjoy.

-Leave in your failures cut out needless travel time.

-Voice that does not annoy me.

-Mix of gameplay and commentary. Talk during downtimes not during cut scenes.

-Game I want to see.

-Review of issues that you are having is a nice touch. This game seems to rebind my keys every time I start it up.

-Please don't be so bad that it is painful to watch. After one episode that gets old.

I like it's when it's a duo doing the playthrough, important though is that the two of them have a chemistry and a sense of humor.

Also, good video quality, good microphones and voices which aren't annoying (rarely the case though).

A good voice and a player who shares his experience with the game while also knowing how to be funny.

Funny/interesting commentary is most important. Also the player has to be quite familiar with the game, and be fairly good at it.

Comedy is probably the first thing I look for. This is easier of course when there are two people playing as then you can get some good banter.

Also look for a newer game - if it's an old game, I'll just buy it myself, I wouldn't need to watch someone else play.

Also some good tips. At times I turn to Let's Play's instead of guides as the people usually know what they are doing. To that end, I don't want to see someone dying 5 times on one level, so the player must have a good grasp of the game also.

It really should be a combination of the those aspects. While comedy can be a major selling point of the more popular LPs, but the comedy should not be forced if at all possible.(it can help if you or your friend is a little crazy and tends to overreact sometimes) You should also make sure that you have semi-decent audio and video quality because it's really bad when you can make out what's on the screen or when the audio sounds like it went through a blender. As most of the others who have posted here have said, make sure your voice isn't going to annoy everyone that hears it(no squeaker voice) and that you don't just ramble on about random things while playing unless it's relevant to what you're doing. While you're commentating, facts about the game, its creators, or other related subjects can be nice(when mentioned at the right time) but are not necessary. It will probably help get more people to watch your Let's Play if you play a more popular/well known game, but you don't have to if you don't want to.

If you need to know more, just look at some of the more popular/funny LPers and take note of how they do it.

If you're doing a video, then good recording and audio quality.
My rules of thumb for all Let's Plays: you need to be experienced, know a fair bit about the story, everything about the gameplay, and you need to try not to be obtrusive. By this, I mean you are but a humble presenter, and the game is the actual thing being showcased. Remember that.

Good humor is, as they say, icing on the cake. But only boring people eat a cake without icing.

Comedy, which is why i spent today watching this.

All of these things, really. All of those elements are essential for a good LP, and to make a great one, you have to find the right balance.

I think some people are a bit confused between a 'walk-through' and a 'Let's Play'.

If I was looking for proper information, I'd watch a 'walk-through'. Walk-throughs are more about doing it the proper way, so you can gain an achievement or a higher percentage of the game played, or makes you aware of something you've missed,..or whatever. They tend to scrape every corner to give you the information you need. It's more of a 'guide' than anything. However, it can also have comedy; but the player tends to be quieter or not speak at all, so you wont miss dialogue and little tid-bits.

While a 'Let's Play' is usually watching a good-humoured/intereting person/persons play through a game on their terms. They might be thorough and you may be able to garner information from them that may be helpful, but you might get easily annoyed at the fact that they will probably skip a lot of things, and even talk over the characters in-game during a cutscene. It really depends on their play-style. I am usually looking for a good humored/interesting 'Let's Play', instead of a step-by-step guide.

I tend to look for a thorough and more serious 'walk-through' and comedic/interesting 'Let's Play'. Like Tobuscus playing Amnesia : Dark Descent. It's still his best work.


I don't always watch Let's Plays
But when I do, I prefer Tobuscus.
Stay silly you nuggets.

Depending on the game, it can be nice for the LPer to think aloud. Tell us what you're planning, any ideas you might have, etc. It's nice to through that with you.

Also, the main thing that really get's tiring quickly is when the LPer keeps using the same word/phrase. I can understand that if your head's in the game, you probably aren't thinking about keeping your speech varied. But you'd be surprised how often people can either repeat themselves, or sound like they're repeating themselves simply because they're using the same language all the time.

the number one thing i think a LP'er should have is a good voice, people dont want to listen to bad quality voices or strange accents they normal want to be able to understand what the person is saying

I look for an experienced gamer who will draw parallels between the game being played and other games that they have played. I prefer it if they haven't played the game before, but only because of the tendency for people who have to drop spoilers without warning. Co-op let's plays can be good (See Giff and Guizz, or Shamus Young's let's plays) or they can be awful (too many to list).
For the most part, though, it's all about production quality. Good diction is a must, otherwise whats the point in the commentary, and the audio needs to be crisp, so not sounding like the mic is either in your mouth or outside of the room.

spike and barely are the only reasons I have ever watched a Lets Play

A deal-breaker for me is if there's only one commentator. One commentator is just a guy rambling to himself, and it gets annoying FAST. Two or more people can have a discussion and bounce jokes and observations off each other.

It's even better if one of the commentators hasn't played this game before, so he can pose questions to the guy who has, that way, both he and the viewers can learn. In my opinion, that's a more natural way of informing viewers about the game than the players going 'BTW, this is this'

And this is probably a given, but a bit of an MST3K element never hurts either. ^w^

Thanks for responding everyone! I just thought I'd do something like this to better understand potential audiences and see if I should better myself and Let's Plays in the future. :) If you'd like to see my first Let's Play, you can message me. Hopefully I won't be too annoying because I was sick when I did it, and looking at the comments, thank god I didn't speak over characters like I said I would in one of the episodes :P

Personally I can stand a annoying voice, up to a certain limit of course. I put more emphasis on what they say during the LP and the charisma they put up. A nice observation, a well placed joke, maybe some funny raging during some teeth gnashingly difficult parts and I'll be alright to overlook any ineptitude or stupid mistake you make in the game(once again, within reason though).

Also, it would be a good idea to keep your ego in check unless you are doing it in that Over-the-top-not-supposed-to-take-seriously Jim Sterling way and even then watch out for those who don't get the joke. I think that's a nice way to get retsupraed.

In general, be pleasurable and enjoyable to listen to, and if not, make it a silent walkthrough.

Oh, and know how to play the game you're LP-ing and know when to edit out several failures unless you make several funny jokes and angrish noises to up the schadenfreude or if the failures are spectacular enough

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