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1775: Rebellion – A Video Documentary

I’m a big fan of Academy Games’ Birth of America series. 1812: The Invasion of Canada started the series off last year and now 1775: Rebellion has finally been released.

The PLAN was to debut this new video series near the 4th of July — an American revolution themed game, etc. The problems were:

  • I needed to learn the software to the point that I could make one of these nifty videos.
  • Editing a video like this takes an incredible amount of time — at least for me.
  • It’s been a busy summer of basketball camps, looking into post-bachelor college options, job changes, etc..

So the video was put on hold but now it’s ready and I hope you like it. I’d like to do more of these, time permitting. They’re fun to do and I have discovered that I like doing the video editing work.

A HUGE thanks to Todd for doing the narration. Without it the video just doesn’t work.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

13 thoughts to “1775: Rebellion – A Video Documentary”

  1. In sum, I enjoyed it a lot, but I feel as though there was a bit too much RP and not enough mechanical discussion of the game’s events. Only when Dirk brought it up halfway through did I realize that the card mechanic was keeping the British from responding effectively.

    Maybe in a non-historical game, this would be less of an issue, but at times the personas, however light, obscured what was actually going on in the game.

    1. That comment is way too negative for what I got out of the video. I thought the map blow-by-blow was really great, I just wanted the one-on-one scenes with the players to help contextualize it better.

  2. We had a slight miscommunication on how we were going to do the confessionals. Also, we lost an entire turn of commentary due to a camera issue. (It wasn’t turned on..) Ahem.

    Overall I’m happy with how it turned out, even though the game itself was surprisingly one-sided.

  3. Holy cow Bill that was awesome. Good to see you back posting, too.

    When’s the next episode? Are you going right into 1812?

    And man..that was a tough game for the Brits!

  4. Next ep won’t be for a bit. Gencon is here and we need to get everyone together, which isn’t always easy. This is a long process so we really need to clear a day. And the editing process for a newbie like me takes, um, a while.

    1812 is certainly on the table but we have other options for games that would make a good video. Battlestar Galactica could be a blast due to the cyclon mechanic. I also want to do a strict battle/combat game — like Commands & Colors: Ancients. The “epic” version combines two boards so you can do team play.

    That would be really fun to shoot as well as provide commentary. The right flank doesn’t know what the left flank is doing…hilarity ensues.

  5. I’ll join everyone and say that was really, really good Bill.

    For some reason, the atmosphere and relaxing pacing of the video brought back memories of my own (long gone, sadly) boardgaming days. I think you stated number of times in the podcast your intent was to capture the feel of the game : total success there.

    The only thing that needs fixing in my opinion is some of those sound effects’ volume : they covered Todd’s powerful organ early in the video, and other times they were just a bit too loud on headphones.

    I am definitely looking forward to the next one. Cheers!

    1. Yep, the sounding editing was a nightmare. Lesson learned, though. I was less interested in mechanical discussion so hopefully the story of the game came through.

      1. Enjoyed the video a great deal, liked how you went for the Ken Burns style.

        For what it’s worth, I’m a professional film editor that’s done a fair share of sound editing and I will agree that it’s not easy. I know you mentioned on a podcast that part of the fun is figuring things out so I won’t presume to push tips on you, but there are a few basic rule-of-thumb tricks for sound editing I could pass along if you were interested. I don’t want to clog up the comments or bore you with them here, but if there’s a PM system here or you want my email, I’m happy to chat. If not, no worries. Dug the video and thanks for highlighting this game. My copy just showed up.

  6. I’m guessing you’re editing with Final Cut Pro? None of these things will really make anything easier, but it’s the smoothing out a lot of people do when they sound edit.

    The main thing I caught was was hard ins and outs on the audio, specifically the sound fx. Usually sound editing uses “handles” on the audio clips that extend beyond the cut to allow slight overlaps and fades. With sound fx in particular, it’s rare that you just want to hard cut it out.

    Another thing is when video recording, it can be useful to just film the empty room for 30 seconds or so to get the “room tone” of the space. That way, if you have to cut a clip of dialogue really close to the end of the word, you have a little bit of that room tone to put after it for a handle if you need to fade out to a VO section or whatever.

    None of this may be all that useful, but I’m happy to answer any questions you might have if they arise and you don’t have someone you consult with already. My email is arthurdougherty at gmail dot com, I’ve been editing TV commercials for the last seven or eight years, and I’ve used Final Cut to some degree since it was first released back when I was in film school (I remember classmates undoing the shrink on the version 1.0 copies).

    Anyway, enjoyed the video a great deal. If you ever find yourself needing to bounce a technical idea off someone (I’ve done production as well), feel free to get in touch with me. Otherwise, I’m hoping these videos are a quasi-regular thing.

  7. Cool video Bill. You Americans are so lucky. Wait until next war, then the British will invade like the Beatles came to town.

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