Dreams of Lets Plays

I started my first Lets Play series 1 month 15 days 9 hours 55 minutes 33 seconds ago.

I have published 23 episodes so far, with 5 more uploaded and ready to be published right this moment!

It’s been fun so far! Even thought I’ve died more than 100 times over 29 episodes, but that’s just something that happens in Minecraft. You die. A lot. Especially with the set of mods I have, specifically IguanaTweaks, the combat is very different from normal Minecraft.

You really cannot fight by backing away from your enemy. And the terrain matters immensely.

Someone expressed concern that it all seemed “grindy”, what with the reduced stacksizes, slower movement speed over certain terrain, thirst and less effective food and so on. It’s understandable, but this is how I play. This is pretty much what I had in 1.6.4. The last time I played survival. Though then I also had GregTech, but I skipped it this time, mostly because it slipped my mind when I was putting my modpack together. And it’s too late to add it now since it relies heavily on world-gen.

But don’t you worry. The series will continue. There is no specific end-goal though. I will simply continue until I run out of things to do, or the world implodes for some reason and I’m unable to recover it. I make backups between episode batches though, so this is unlikely. The show will go on, for better or worse. I plan on having guests appear eventually, if I can find people who would want to, and maybe allow other players on my server. Before then however I have to create a distribution system for my private modpack, and collect permissions for all of the mods. I’ve started on none of these at the moment.

I have little idea what people actually want to see. What to cut out and what to leave in. The obvious things to cut out are repetitive things, like chopping down trees. I’ll happily remove those bits unless I’m talking about something in the meantime of course. Carving out rooms tends to be quite boring as well unless I have something to talk about. But I’ll keep doing my best and not try to leave out the interesting things. I do think 30 minutes is a pretty good episode length, though I sometimes under- or overshoot that. Sometimes because I forget to start my timer, and sometimes because I’m doing something interesting.

The following is unrelated to the contents of the Lets Play. It will be somewhat technical and ranting and can be skipped unless you’re interested. If you’re not, jump to the final paragraph.

My one problem so far has been with scheduling episodes. I can be forgetful. I release an episode every other day. This month it happens to be every even date, next month it will be every odd date. I publish the episode at 1 PM local. Which is UTC +1.

YouTube has a scheduling feature. This appears to only be available to partners though. That’s really dumb. Why make it hard to post regular episodes on schedule? Since I’m unlikely to become a partner, especially since I have monetization completely disabled on my channel, and plan to keep it that way, I had to figure out something else. I briefly looked at the API, but found the documentation to be lackluster. My solution ended up being an AutoHotkey script.

AutoHotkey is an application for windows that let you write scripts that can perform keyboard and mouse inputs, override key-presses and much more. It’s main purpose is to make custom shortcuts. For example I have a script on my computer that when I click the mouse wheel twice, pastes whatever is in the clipboard. If I click it thrice, it pastes whatever is in the clipboard and hits enter. Clicking it once is ignored by the script and just performs the normal scroll wheel click action, whatever that happens to be in the current application.

Windows scheduling is set to run the script once at 1 PM every other day, with the date of the first episode as it’s start date. The script checks the current date and stores it as a string in the format yyyy-mm-dd. It then proceeds to try to open a file in a specific directory on the computer which is named that string plus the file name extension .url. If the file exists it will open the edit page for the scheduled episode in chrome. The script then waits 15 seconds to give the page time to load. After the wait time the script presses tab an exact number of times to end up focused on the visibility dropdown menu. It then presses the up key 2 times to set the visiblity from “private” to “public”. Then it presses tab once more to focus on the page, and then presses “End” to scroll to the end of the page. At this point, the button to save the settings and publish the video will be at a specific position in the window, the script now hijacks the mouse pointer, moves it to pre-set coordinates, which happen to be where the publish button is, and then clicks once. This will publish the video.

The magic with the mouse is because pressing tab more times to get to the publish button and then pressing enter turned out to be unreliable. The script would fail to publish the video most times. But the current version of the script have been successful so far! I no longer have to manually publish each episode on time, or even be at home at the time, which is nice. It still requires my computer to be running, and my internet to be working. It would be preferable to be allowed to use YouTube’s scheduling system. But for some arbitrary reason I cannot. I deem this: Annoying.

So in conclusion:
#1: YouTube is stingy with it’s features.
#2: Making this Lets Play is a lot of fun for me! I only hope it’s fun for you too!

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