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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More CoC prep and Flag Football

It's been a busy week. I need to push myself to post more frequently.

The preparation for running "The Haunting" scenario for Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed. has been taking up most of my time. Apart from trying to learn how the game works I have also been learning how to use Roll20 for distance game play, re-acquaint myself with Cam Studio and Audacity for recording gaming sessions, and learning how to use VoiceMeeter and the Logitech G35 headset I bought yesterday to mix my mic and improve sound quality.

So, par for the course, I have spiraled into more and more complexity and stuff that is not directly needed to play the game. Ah well. What follows is something of a project list and some things to remind me, and possibly educate you should you be equally mad, how I set this stuff up.

***One Caveat. These are all freeware and may have some things in them that you don't want. My virus protection caught the bloatware in Cam Studio that is packaged in the installer, but not part of the program. Everything else was clean after a scan. Also beware of some of the "Download" buttons on these sites. Make sure the file being downloaded is what you wanted and not something else.***

Cam Studio:


This is a free screen video capture utility that I used way back when to make my Flag Ripple Tutorial Video, I still feel rage bubble to the surface at that douche bags comment. But I digress. It is a nifty little program that does what it says, but there are some caveats.

First off the installer tries to install a ton of bloatware(?), stuff you don't need that ha nothing to do with the program. I found that my virus protection just wouldn't let me install at first. You can either just say "I don't Agree" to each one until you get to the actual software, or you can do a custom install of only the program. I will say that having to "Agree" to each crap software is very tricky. I thought I was accepting Cam Studios terms the first time. Very sneaky.

Things I've learned so far. I needed to download the CamStudio Lossless Codec 1.5  to get it to record. It is also important to note that you have to record from the microphone and then change the input to the speakers if you want to record browser sounds or audio from you computer. You also need to set these thing every time you run the program. And finally, just record to AVI. The MP4 thing crashes the program, although it does seem to do the actual conversion. The developer himself even says to just use a conversion utility.



Audacity:


A fantastic open source audio recorder. I've noodled around with it before and I was going to record audio simultaneously while recording video. I think I could do it but I now realize that I can just go back and record the audio from the recorded video. I think this will be a better solution so I don't tax the CPU on this tablet, even though it seems to handle it so far.

VoiceMeeter:


This is one of those programs that you don't know you need until you need it. I found several videos on youtube that explain how to use it pretty well. The main thing it allows me to do is route my microphone and tablet audio together to record both simultaneously. This is only an issue if you want to use an external mic and record the sound coming from your computer. I decided to stay away from using the integrated mic in my tablet as I want to be heard well and have decent audio for the video and audio only recordings. You also need to download the Virtual Cable to use this.

Logitech G35 Headset:


This is the wired version of the G930. I didn't feel the need for the wireless setup, I'm just sitting right in front of my tablet so, if anything, the chord is too long. The sound quality is good on the headphones and the mic appears to sound much clearer and pic up less background noise. It is also easy to mute from the headset. The voice morpher is fun to play with, just remember to click the button in the software again when you want to turn it off. A brief bit of panic set in as I thought I was stuck with the voice of a space hamster for all eternity.

Flag Football

Well we won our last two games convincingly and made it into the actual playoffs as the 6th seed. In the first round we play one of the teams we should have beat during the regular season. I'll be coaching, as the coach is away on business this weekend. Wish me luck.

6 comments:

  1. I've wanted to do a video of a wargame, using the "confessional" approach we see in such videos as Tabletop. Do you have a software suggestion for editing such a project, since you have done video in the past?

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    1. Hi Justin, great to hear from you. The only program I have ever used regularly is Roxio. I'm sure that the pros would cringe at that, but I think it works pretty well. I don't have it loaded on the tablet right now and hadn't thought about what I would use to edit yet. Your question has got me thinking that I may need to look at free video editing software and do a review for y'all.

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    2. Sean, I have been forced to lurk mostly, due to computer issues (heat problems that force shutdowns...can't afford to fix it atm) which prevent me from using my laptop for very long...thus making my work computer a lunchtime blog reader. If you wouldn't mind explaining the video editing software, that would be terrific as I haven't done digital video at all and the old tape camcorders had no where the functionality.

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    3. Hey Justin, no problem. I have had real trouble keeping up with everybody's blog of late. Video editing on computer can be a chore. You need a fast processor and good video card, as well as a decent amount of RAM. It may take me awhile, but I will happily share my process and whatever else I find.

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  2. I can't help thinking that there must be easier ways to do what you're doing, but then again I'm not techy in the least.
    Fantasy Grounds IIRC had a great set-up for virual gaming, but without microphones, but with something like skype I would think it would be adaptible.
    Fanatasy Grounds also had many CoC ready-made "plug-in" scenarios too.
    http://www.fantasygrounds.com/
    Good luck with your set-up, we wait the results with baited breath

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    1. Hi Zabadak, I am notorious for making things complicated. You are correct about Fantay Grounds having CoC already built in there, but we chose to go this route for several reasons. The main thing is we are feeling this out to see if it is something we want to do, so with that in mind we are trying to invest as little as possible. With Fantasy Grounds you pay for the service and then pay for their version of rules and scenarios. Since I am still somewhat tethered to the past I wanted to buy the books etc myself (although they are digital). I think that Fantasy Grounds would be a good option if you didn't want to mess around with making any artwork, tokens or character sheets. If this proves to be fun from a gaming standpoint but not a prep standpoint we'll see where we go next. As for the game play. I hope to have the wait be minimal.

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