Part 1: How to do a Let’s Play

Okay so you have seen a series like Playing Games with Snat and maybe you have thought – I would love to do one of these myself and have looked up and seen there is millions of ways to do it. Well you are in a bit of luck as due to me not having anything to speak about, I decided to talk about how I got around the problems I had.

I should note that I went down a hardware route as I do console games but I do also use the same setup for PC games in the future. This guide will assume you have nothing so far, not even a PC, but relax as I will even explain that. I will also note the price for it all but it may not exactly be cheap but where possible, I will link to cheaper or free places.

The Hardware you “will” need.

The Computer

Dell OptiPlex GX620 – 50 GBP

Ta da, I got a surprise for you. Against what many people will tell you, you do not “really” need a high-end PC to record console games. And while this will surprise you, if you are just starting out and do not have a computer yet or need one that will record the games, I would recommend you to get a cheap Dell OptiPlex GX620 which you can now find on eBay for around 50 GBP and then upgrade the RAM.

I am sure you are wondering why I am advising you to get this is simply this – it works flawless for me and I am able to record Final Fantasy XIII footage in 720p HD without any issues … and even edit them using Movie Edit Pro with little stressing to the computer (we are talking about editing 720p HD footage here).

Now this computer will not run modern games are highest specification but if you are looking to do console games then look no further as this will serve for all your recording and editing need once you include three other things with one of those things not actually needed but I use it to record computer gaming footage from another computer.

Confused?

You will see shortly. Right then as we now have the computer bit sorted, let’s go on and get the recording method sorted before I explain about recording your audio.

The Capture Card

Roxio Game Cap

Roxio Game Cap – 70 GBP

This is the heart of the thing – without this we are unable to record any console based gaming footage. Now how much this will cost will depend on how “high-end” you want to go. I am going to carry on this article with the logic you want to record HD footage but do not care about recording the likes of 1080p but more than happy to settle with 720p max.

The capture card I would get and use for Playing Games with Snat is called “Roxio Capture Card” which does a very good job at recording very close to HD. It also comes with all the recording software you need which also allows you to do any editing you need such as if you want to do the voice over afterwards which to some, they prefer.

The only problem with this capture card is the price and let’s be honest – if you are starting out then you do not really want to pay much. If this is the case and if you do not mind recording in less than HD such as in 480p then I would recommend to get the EzCAP 116 USB but be careful and make sure to set it up correctly. Also you will need to get your hands on a RCA splitter so you can actually see what you are recording and lucky for you I am going to quickly list what you would need should you get the usb device above and not the Roxio Game Cap.

The Microphone

ORB GP1 Gaming Headset (PS3/PC) – 25 GBP

With the microphone you can get anything you wish but the trick is to make sure to get one that you like the sound off – there is no point getting one that you would not want to listen too.

The headset I would recommend to get the Orb GP1 Gaming Headset but a word of warning. If you are planning on using a hardware based mixer – this will NOT work as it works over a USB cable and not 3.5mm cables like I thought it did. There are converters on-line that claims to get a USB microphone to work on a 3.5mm cable but I got one and it did not work. If you are going to use this microphone, you will need to use software based mixer which I am going to cover in the second part of this article.

This microphone also doubles as allowing you to hear the game footage from the headset so you can remove the effect of echoing if you was listening from your TV. If you are looking for a cheaper microphone that works well, you can find a comfortable microphone for around a fiver.

Finishing

Now as you see if you already have a computer, you can get a capture card and a microphone pretty cheap for around 30 GBP which will allow you to record alright footage that you can upload to YouTube. You can go further and find cheaper capture cards for around a fiver and a microphone from pound land if you just want to see how things go.

The next article will cover which software you can use to record your gaming footage, gaming audio and your voice over. In part 2 we will be covering what I just said with the software, part 3 will cover how to set it all up and part 4 will cover any extra such as how to record PC gaming footage and hardware based audio mixers for those that can not do parts in part 2.

Cost so far: 26.37GBP (low-end) ~ 95GBP (mid end)

Cost does not include PC.