It’s been a while coming, but we finally got back to making 60 Second Gamer last night, hence no blog update. We have about 25 reviews waiting to be edited together, most of which are waiting for intro sketches. Sadly with the dark evenings throughout winter it makes life a bit more difficult when it comes to the daylight sketches, so we’ve not done much of that lately. The focus last night was to record a few podcasts (yes, we do them in bulk, sorry to spoil the illusion. If there was one), and to get another couple of voiceovers in the can.Tuesday next week we’ll be doing more of the same, then eventually it will be down to those awkward mini-sketches and then that’s 13 weeks of videos ready to go! The focus after that will be on some more recent games like Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Assassins Creed Revelations. 60 Second Gamer has never been about reviewing games within a couple of weeks of its release, so I’m tempted to actually create a tagline for our videos stating as much.

Our process in creating an episode is rather simple – there are four separate areas before we start the edit – there’s the intro sketch, where we head out into the real world, usually in an isolated area so we can film without interruption. If you’ve watched any of our videos you’ll know the sketches are cheap and cheerful, for want of a better term. The other elements are capturing the game footage (takes quite a while, that), then recording a podcast for said episode and both writing and recording our individual voiceovers for the review. All of these elements are then thrown together in the final edit, following a bit of work from myself to make it look as pretty as possible – again, if you watch the videos you’ll notice it’s always been a work in progress.Eventually I hope we reach a design and a format that works nicely and looks the part – it’s been a gradual process since we started in 2009 (has it really been that long?) but I’m certainly happy with the current batch of episodes. I’ve discussed previously how much easier it is to put a video together when using a Mac, so I won’t go into any great detail again. Suffice to say that as soon as I’ve worked my way around the editing suite and had a bit more practice, I’m sure we’ll have an even better template in the next 12 months that is less… I don’t know, static I suppose. I’m talking more about the “reviewed by” and title slides than anything else, they just feel a little too basic. But then you could argue that they’re basic by design and it isn’t necessary to enhance them any further, which is a valid point.

I’m aiming for about 50 episodes to go up on our channel this year, if we get any more out then that will be a bonus. This year will also mark our 100th episode of 60 Second Gamer, a milestone in itself. I’m also hoping we find time to go back and continue with The Movie Review – we’ve still got a load of ideas for that, even if the number of films I’ve seen at the cinema lately has taken a nosedive. I think that, given I watch a LOT of films anyway, it might be worth covering what we’ve seen recently rather than “this is what we went to the cinema to watch”.

My work on Trent Samuels continues – Series 2 is pretty much finished, bar a couple of drafting sessions, and I’ve now put together a brief episode breakdown for series 3. I did initially get stuck on the idea of repeating what I’d already done for series 1 but with a new villain replacing Tony The Absorber. Instead I’ve gone back to the source, in this case the original Flash Gordon serials starring Buster Crabbe, and see how they plotted the series out. Apart from defeating Ming, there was never really an ongoing story and in fairness the 1930s audience didn’t really need it – it was enough to be taken on a flight of fancy each week. I’ve decided to emulate The Goonies in terms of story – the two opposing sides after the same treasure. I had some constructive criticism about series 1 in that the first episode is a bit slow, which would also explain why there are less people who made it to the second episode. So, series 3 will get off to a pretty fast start and will continue thereon for the full 6 episode run. I doubt I’ll have all 6 series written by the end of this month as planned, but the recording dates have now slipped to April so I have a bit of time to finish them off, get the drafts done and probably start work on the next project. That’ll be interesting. If nothing else I have to be strict with myself and choose one or two different ideas for now, create the characters and the world and go from there. I’m certainly not short of ideas, just yesterday I had the opening prologue of a novel just appear fully formed in my head. Sadly I’ve no idea right now where that story will go, so it will be temporarily relegated to the ideas bench until I have a plot to accompany it. A nuclear explosion is involved and an alternate history is created. To say more would spoil it.

In other news, I continue to be impressed by Netflix, but then Lovefilm also seemed to have stepped up a gear with its offerings – all of Lost is now available to view, and despite a lot of mixed opinions about how it ended, I enjoyed it. Hopefully it will still be available once I’ve reduced my list of movies (right now I’m watching The Mechanic via Netflix, to do the same with Lovefilm would cost me £3.49), but if not the DVD or Blu-Ray set might be in my price range by then…