...FYI, everything after the jump is going to be the last time I get into production/background stuff of this nature outside of a commentary or major shakeup for a good long time; so folks are humbly asked to read it and file the answers therein away for future reference. TL;DR: I don't plan on continuing to answer the same questions over and over ;)
ALSO: THE VOTE on Episode 54 is till ongoing, so go ahead and cast. Now, then...
Now that three episodes have run covering the rough gamut of the new format of the series, I figured now is the time to answer some of the general questions that longtime fans, newcomers and viewers in general have had about where things are and where things are headed; arranged in the traditional "FAQ" form:
Is this a permanent change?
Yes and no. Yes in the sense that the "meat" of the show will continue to be bookended and occasionally "perked up" by narrative-driven humor, visual gags, etc; but no in the sense that said extra-elements will not all remain permanent and "fixed." The "constant" of the show is The OverThinker himself and commentary about games - everything else can (and will) change and rearrange.
Why change the show?
Multiple reasons. Mainly, because I needed it to change. Partially out of a simple desire to try new things, but also out of - I'll be honest - a desire to have the show itself stand out. The fact is, there are A LOT of game-related vlogs out there, many of them doing the same sort of material TGO did in the same basic "slideshow plus narration" way I had initially used. One can quibble back and forth about who got somewhere "first," but it doesn't change the fact that without some kind of changeup the show was very much becoming "just another" game-opinion slideshow... and, it must be said, a lot of the "newer" others offer a "value added" benefit that I frankly cannot match: Professional Experience.
For example: "Extra Credits" and "RevRants" - two of the shows EVERYONE should be watching - are made by people with years of serious gaming-industry experience; and as such can offer a perspective on various subjects that I, a mere FAN of the medium, really can't. That's not to say that I regard my own input as lacking merit, just that once those folks have had THEIR say on the "big issues" of the day I rarely have much to add save for when there's a substantial disagreement (re: "Other M") I won't cite specific examples, but YES - I've junked whole fully-written scripts because other shows have said everything I would've but better.
So, yeah... when you get down to it it's about being unique and "value-added" content. DOZENS of gaming shows can give you insightful opinions about the medium. SOME can also give you a learned/professional perspective. MINE can also give you funny asides with a bunny and the occasional slapstick as visual-accompaniment to the rant/lecture material.
So every episode will be like Episode 53?
Absolutely not. Some episodes will have a visual-humor bit that carries through the whole run, others will only have broad background references, and so on. I've tried to set the whole thing up to be as "liquid" as possible in terms of structure. At least ONE upcoming episode involves The OverThinker "ranting" while being wholly-immobilized almost the entire time, while another exists as "contemplative" voiceover narration.
Don't narrative and jokes undermine the seriousness of the message?
The potential for that exists, yes, and it weighs on my mind as I select new topics and build future scripts around them. Fortunately, as we are in the end talking about a hobby here, MOST of what's ultimately worth talking about is still "for fun" enough for it to not be out of place. However, instances when the subject IS super-serious stuff (the "Blackwater" episode, for example) you'll see a lot less (up to the point of "none") humor and/or "storyline" material; whereas a lighter topic like "old games in need of a reboot" would probably have a lot more jokes.
That being said, I understand that the reason some folks dislike the inclusion of narrative and gags is because they like to use videos like this in place of making their own points - i.e. "just watch this, this is what I mean" - and they feel this makes that difficult. Honestly, I'm very-much NOT looking to make a show designed to be used in that way. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate every retweet and embed and repost I get; but I'm MUCH more interested in making a show that you can watch, be entertained by and hopefully learn/hear a point that you can incorporate into your own outlook, not just repeat.
Will other characters be "taking over" the show again?
NO. We tried that with AntiThinker, and while I think the "arc" as a whole ended up pretty successful the BIG takeaway was that an "alternate-opinion" parody sketch of that nature is not really meant to be stretched over a whole or multiple episodes. There will be other characters "speaking their mind" and such, but not on that scale or in that style.
Will there be other "story only" episodes?
Possibly, but unlike "War of The Thinkers" in Episode 50 it likely won't be taking up the place of a "regular" episode. If/when I opt to do such an episode, it'll probably be in the form of a stand-alone "special."
I hope that clears at least some things up. I'll keep the VOTE on Episode 54 going at least another week, here's hoping folks enjoy however it shakes out.