Making videos for YouTube
This docs series focuses on video creation for Youtube. For general insights on creating tutorials and education, check out this page: 5 habits to write good tutorials. On this page, we’ll talk about:
- What are the goals of Youtube videos.
- Who we make Youtube videos for.
- How to come up with good ideas for videos.
On youtube, users are looking to learn exciting things quickly without necessarily paying too much attention. They are bombarded with dozens of video recommendations on every page and tend to jump easily. They have high expectations for how engaging a video has to be.
As a result, youtube is not a great place to dive deeply into a topic. It’s not about video length: a long step-by-step video can work. But a course that tries to dive deeper and give extensive practice, theory, and subtleties of each concept may not work well.
We embrace that reality and focus on making videos that captivate people and teach them something interesting. Our priorities with videos are the following: teach, inspire, inform, and entertain, in that order.
Our viewers should be able to learn something cool with each video in a relatively short amount of time (anywhere from 60 seconds to several hours at most). We also need the insights we give in videos to be practical due to the time and pacing constraints the platform imposes on us.
There are two primary categories of users for whom we make videos:
- People who are interested in game development but who do not necessarily know or use Godot.
- People who already know or use Godot and want to learn.
In other words, we use our channel both to promote Godot to new people and help people in the Godot community.
It’s challenging to communicate what makes a great video idea. In short, a great video idea is an idea that appeals to viewers and that lives up to their expectations. It’s also an idea that we can communicate in a way that appeals to viewers through the title, thumbnail, and video introduction.
On top of that, it’s an idea that synergizes well with our current projects, as our income is a limiting factor. Coming up with good ideas takes a good understanding of what viewers need and how they think.
Some needs of the people to whom we promote Godot:
- Some people need to be inspired to learn to code and overcome their fears and challenges.
- Some people need to know that Godot has the features their projects require.
- Some people need to get excited about Godot and be convinced to try it.
Some needs of existing Godot users:
- They need content that helps them learn how to achieve results with Godot faster.
- They need to know about new updates and features in Godot.
Some of our needs:
- We need to raise awareness about the various projects we’re working on (open-source demos, contributions to Godot, paid courses).
- We need to stay afloat to pay salaries and hire people, typically by selling courses or raising money on Kickstarter.
You can make the best video essay in the world, people first need to click on them, then watch past the intro, then watch past the first minute, and so on.
In other words, you need to convince them to click on the video and keep watching. They always have many other appealing options only one click away. The video needs to talk to them. Like all our courses in games and everything, we need to be entirely centered on our users.
Often, an idea we find very interesting ourselves will not be as interesting to others. At least not if we present it in the way we think about it. For example: “how do I architecture my code to be able to reuse my RTS’s AI behaviors?”You have to frame the topic from your users’ point of view, based on the problems they have right now.
This is also important for learning. You need people to connect with your content. In the example above, a common problem for users might be code reuse in general. The video could use the RTS AI as an example of code reuse but focus on the “right” way to reuse code.