So I mentioned in the Twitter announcement video that I was feeling rather conflicted with the GMod Idiot Box series as of late and of course, I didn't want to add several more minutes to a short announcement video explaining them, so the blog was the perfect place to do it. Without any further intro needed on that, let's get into it.
One big reason I've been conflicted about the series, is that it takes a hell of a long time and effort to make a skit based video, moreso than a lot of people would realize. The GMod Idiot Box, for the most part, is a mashup of improv with no writing or much planning. All I have to go on is a large list of ideas I have a good feeling about, and many of them have required custom made content from my resource guys. Again, with a lot of the series being improv, I can only inform my resource people of what I need from them at the last minute, which means many skits wind up being on hold until I get that custom content from them. It's not like Computer Quest or Update Day, where I had everything laid out and I could inform my resource guys what I needed before the video has even started production.
A smaller issue with the skit based series is trying to keep it at a varied tone. There have been previous episode where there were too many long skits in them, making a 10 minute episode seem shorter than it should have been and ever since then, I've been trying to vary the skit length and themes to balance it out. Trust me when I say, that's not easy. There have been times when I had a lot of fantastic TF2 skit ideas or a lot of skits that involved longer length to them, but knew I couldn't put too many TF2 skits back to back and had to have short burst chuckles in between the longer buildup skits. It's a weight that tends to put too much concern in a video series I started out just planning to have fun with, and a lot of skits turn out being unused as a result.
Earlier I mentioned it takes a long time to make these episodes, which I hoped to remedy by stepping outside the "box" mentality and releasing each individual skit as it's own video. This would allow me to bring forth much more frequent updates and they would be easier to make. However, there's always pros and cons to long videos and making shorts. Though the Idiot Box takes a LOT longer to make, each episode is a lot more watchable than individual shorts for two reasons. The first being, some skits may not be as funny, but then others will be, and repeat watches are still possible on that one video, where as an individual skit as it's own video may not be as funny at all, and repeat watching is less likely. The other reason is because, I can fit some short "jab" skits in that range from only 1 - 5 seconds long in between skits that are fun to do. I highly doubt a subscriber would appreciate seeing a 2 second video in their sub box, complete with infamous YouTube cutoff.
Finally, you guessed it ... audience pressure. It becomes pretty tiresome being asked daily when the next episode will be, both on YouTube or when I'm just playing a game. Many are patient about it's release, but others have gotten pretty mean spirited about it as well, which takes a lot of the fun out of making the episodes, which, again, I set out to have in the first place when making these.
When I thought about ending the series, aside from making individual shorts for more frequent updates, I thought about starting a sort of multi-part murder mystery sort of series, not only because I'm a sucker for a good murder mystery, but I hoped to possibly encourage other GMod Machinima makers to try their hand at something that was more thought provoking than random craziness. This of course, would take more effort than ever before and though it may not be happening in the near future, I'd certainly like to take a shot at it once I get good at 3D animation and texture work. However, to abandon the staple series that formed the very audience I'm writing this blog post to now, in order to dramatically shift the tone of my content sounds more and more like a dick move. Hell, some people are fortunate enough to even HAVE an audience on YouTube, so it feels stupid to suddenly turn your back on it. The continuation of the GMod Idiot Box series is still one to think about, but I thought the explanation had to be made on why I'm thinking about such a thing to begin with.