Monthly Archives: March 2018

Views for the past 7 days on Ranneko Plays

Ranneko Plays Getting Feedback – Channel Update 2018-03-30

The second episode of Hint To the Breach didn’t gather quite as many views as the last one, but still pulled in by far the most views of any video this week. I’m not sure exactly why this is. Is it just that people want to start at the beginning? Into the Breach is just that much older? More people have already dismissed the series based on the first one?

Even so, this marks the first time I have received feedback on the tip itself that wasn’t either information I had considered and decided was either unnecessary or best included as part of a separate tip. Now I need to work how how to include the extra info. I can’t edit the old video, I can highlight the comments on YouTube, but maybe I should include a post-closing segment with extra info in future weeks? A feedback and improvements section. Would that be a good inclusion or just feel like padding?

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday, Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Heat Signature Challenge Run
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: ShadowRan: Hong Kong
Tuesday: Hint To The Breach

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Early Access Land: Prismata

A fun upside about regularly writing games columns is that I’ve become ‘eligible’ (in a ‘have a backlog to show for it’ sense) to request review keys from developers, as well as being tuned into the sorts of middleman operations that match needy developers and needy reviewers. Makes it a lot easier to get tapped into games you might otherwise overlook, let me tell you. A fun downside about being me is that I’m terrible absent-minded, which I genuinely can’t tell if I’ve made this joke on here before. This combination of factors can lead to some unexpectedly awkward situations, sometimes, where (say) a key distributor might email me after several weeks asking about a link to my coverage, and all I have to reply is “oh yeah, that key… that’s probably somewhere in my three dozen unread ‘I should check these later’ emails.”

In news that as far as you know may or may not be unrelated, I’m doing a review of Lunarch Studios‘s Prismata, which is currently in Steam Early Access. Being that it is, expect a shorter and more to-the-point review, like some other Early Access reviews I’ve done. I generally try to steer away from Early Access reviews, as it’s always tricky to determine what game aspect are and aren’t fair criticism game, but… let’s just say in that in the case of Prismata, I felled compelled to write something. For reasons you may or may not understand.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, Essentially none. Mechanical, high-ish, but not really impacting the experience.)

(Game source: Distributor Steam key.)

(Time of writing: 2018-03-26)

After the break: Prismata, or ‘I Tap My Six Drones For One Gold Each…’

Ranneko Plays New Tips – Channel Update 2018-03-23

This week Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips finally left the realm of Heat Signature. I always wanted my tip series to cover multiple games, I actually have about a dozen or so scripts written for tips covering a few different games, but it also seems sensible to try to cover one game at a time and as always there is the drive to be topical and try to cover recent games. Hence this week, Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips moved Into the Breach and the initial response has been really positive.

I posted the video and a request for feedback on the Into the Breach subreddit and it gathered a couple of hundred views and I picked up about 6 subscribers in one day. More importantly I got valuable feedback in terms of the video editing, the introduction and the ending. I anticipate spending at least the next couple of months on Into the Breach but amd always happy to get tips for any game you have been playing.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday, Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Heat Signature Challenge Run
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: ShadowRan: Hong Kong
Tuesday: Hint To The Breach

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Wonderland: Deep Sixed

If you’d asked me in a pre-Internet world what ‘deep sixed’ means, I’d probably have guessed that it was some sort of slang I’m already too old to understand. Like, maybe it’s what you call it when law enforcement arrests you for a case you figured had long gone cold. “Man, Ted just got deep sixed for what he did last summer!” Or maybe it means that foreign intelligence agencies pushed through your fake identities and have a read on your real location. Or maybe it means that you just flushed an unruly employee out an airlock.

But since we live in a post-pre-Internet world instead, I can just look it up and see that ‘deep sixed’ means two things. One, it’s a term for destroying incriminating evidence irreparably, taken from ships tossing things overboard in places where the water was at least six fathoms deep. And two, Deep Sixed is a recent ‘roguelike space sim’ by Little Red Dog Games.

I wonder if the two meanings are connected? Nah, that seems unlikely.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium. Mechanical, medium.)

(Game source: Review key.)

After the break: Yes, I do consider myself old enough to be ‘too old to get slang’. Yes, I am 31 years old. Times moves different when your age gets measured in decades, okay.

NB: This graph covers 8-14th of March.

Ranneko Plays Dumb Mistakes – Channel Update 2017-03-16


I made an embarrassing mistake this week, the original upload for my Heat Signature Hot Tip was just the 6 second animated title screen and nothing else. I have made that mistake a disappointingly high number of times, but I usually catch it before the video goes live. There are a fair number of warning signs along the way. The video exports much faster from my editor, the file uploads faster, the automatically generated thumbnails are all of the intro rather than being spread through the intended footage, but this time I missed all the signs.

Obviously that mistake was unfortunate, but one thing I find reassuring about it was the comments I received that were either teasing or confused about the unusual video. Had I made the same mistake a couple of years ago I would have heard nothing, heck had this happened with one of my Let’s Play series today I doubt I would have had anyone ask. It is a reassuring signal that people are watching and are interested.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday, Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Heat Signature Challenge Run
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: ShadowRan: Hong Kong
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Wonderland: Into The Breach

Here’s what I know about Into The Breach: It’s made by the same people who made FTL (i.e. Subset Games). You can hardly blame me for knowing that and only that, though: ‘From the makers of FTL’ is such a part of Into The Breach‘s marketing push that it’s literally a byline on the game’s main Steam header.

Beyond that, what I can divine from looking at other promotional materials is that Into The Breach is going to feature… let’s see, giant mechs? And ruined buildings? Hopefully the building don’t get ruined by the giant mechs, but then again, maybe they do. A mech-focused reboot of Rampage World Tour could be interesting.

Assuming it’s not that, though… what did I just sign myself up for.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, high-ish. Mechanical, relatively low, only in the general sense.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the breach: Giant robots, and giant bugs, and presumably giant insurance liabilities.

Slightly fewer views than the week before!

Ranneko Plays Channel Update – 2017-03-09


When I plan out my weekly schedule, I envisage it as a Monday to Sunday timetable. However, astute readers may have noticed that these posts are at least theoretically dated for Fridays. I do this because I don’t want to have both of Ninja-Blues regular posts take place on the same day. I assume that Monday/Friday is better than Monday/Monday, though I haven’t ever tried to back this assumption up with quantitative research.

This is why you often see smaller series split over two weeks. If something takes the Thursday/Saturday slot in my schedule, like Into the Breach, then while it fills only one week in my schedule it pops up twice in these posts.

I think of this week as a return to the pre-barcelona schedule, because from Monday we went back to the old schedule. Of course from the perspective of these posts the full return will not take place until next week.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday: I Ran Into the Breach
Sunday: Heat Signature Challenge Run
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: ShadowRan: Hong Kong
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips
Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Ranneko Plays – 2017 YouTube Analytics Review

2017 has been over for quite a while now, so how did Ranneko Plays do? YouTube provides analytics to creators to give them a sense of what is popular on their channel, what demographics they appeal to, how long people are watching, etc. In theory, this should allow me to get meaningful information about my channel and help me find ways to improve my videos and grow my channel.

What did I release in 2017?

YouTube makes this information surprisingly difficult to collect, which means no pretty graphs, just text for this one.

During 2017, I published 334 videos, 331 of them following a fixed schedule, and 3 extras near the end of the year.

At the start of the year I released videos every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On April 10th I shifted to a daily release schedule and I am extremely pleased to have not missed a single update during that time even with an extensive travel schedule. It seemed that I was always building up and running down the buffer in response to an upcoming trip or time away during 2017.

During that time, I covered:

That is a total of 17 different games, 15 if you exclude DLC and game jams games

On April 10th 2017, Ranneko Plays started to release videos every single day. I am quite proud of the fact I have not missed a single day since, but was it worth it?

Not really, but let’s quantify, using graphs!

Much Punch-Do About Nothing

Hey readers. Jarenth here.

You know how all reviews are inherently subjective, because all reviewers are their own people with their own views and biases describing their own experiences with a game, each played in unique and irreproducible circumstances? Everyone’s different, everyone likes different things and experiences things differently — that sort of thing. There’s an argument that more skilled and practiced reviewers can step over that subjectivity to try and address game on a more ideally objective level, and it’s an argument I subscribe to, but still: There’s only so much you can do to step away from your intrinsic self.

I learned the hard way this week that I don’t really have a lot to say about fighting games.

‘I enjoy playing terrible characters that nobody likes for comedy value’ isn’t really a cutting observation.

My idea for this week was to say some interesting things about DRAGON BALL FighterZ, Bando Namcai’s long-awaited ‘it’s pretty much the cartoon distilled to only the cool fighting’ game. And, sure, here’s a thing I’ll say about it: They definitely nailed that aesthetic right on the goddamn head.

Down to the smallest details.

More to the actual point, I can see how a reviewer with more subject matter expertise could place DRAGON BALL FighterZ in the ecosystem of its peers. It’s a team-fighting game, which seems to invite comparison to games like Marvel vs. Capcom. It focuses on simple, quarter-circle-based special moves, making it more Street Fighter and less Mortal Kombat. And a significant distinction between novices and masters lies in the ability to string together long manual combos, something I also remember doing myself in Tekken (Tag Tournament, if we want to be specific).

It also allows you to play out wildly improbably scenarios, which I remember from Soul Caliber.

And that’s it. That’s the extent of my fighting game knowledge. What’s a BlazBlue? I don’t even know.

So yeah. Let’s call this week’s theme a lesson: Good idea, poor execution, highlighting the importance of recognizing your own limits. We’ll be back to normal next week with a game I can talk a bunch about, since it involves convoluted puzzles, giant robots, and messing up timelines beyond recognition for fun and profit.

Which, again, is *also* something you do in this game.

Ranneko Plays Stream First – Channel Update 2018-03-02


At least through April, I am trying to mix a combination of new and old approaches to my recording schedule. I used to record and stream very irregularly. Basically stealing time where I could, ideally when I knew my partner would not be home. I have now started streaming regularly on Tuesdays (starting at 6PM CET [GMT +1] at but this individual stream doesn’t quite let me cover my old streaming schedule meaning I need to combine both approaches and I have been a little less successful at rebuilding my buffer than I would like.

This is why we have such a strange bundle of episodes this week. Well, that and I was really excited to finally get to play Into the Breach and played that on my stream instead of Shadowrun: Hong Kong, a desire to finish uploading the rest of SteamWorld Dig 2 and my partner wanting to use the Switch during one of the opportunities I had to record.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday: Pillars of Ranternity
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: RanWorld Dig 2
Sunday: Heat Signature Challenge Run
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips
Thursday: I Ran Into the Breach

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!