Recording your game: Advise to GIF away

Progress on the game was relatively slow in the last couple of weeks. I hardly managed to get myself to do something for it.

But still, I managed to add at least some content, like new special bombs and a screen transition effect.

Then I wanted to create some GIFs to show off some new content. Simple, right? WRONG!

GIF away your sanity

It turns out creating a GIF in reasonable quality/framerate/file size is near impossible. I tried out several programs, online services and tool-chains, but no solution really works without some drawbacks or workarounds. So, for a short duration I stepped into the hell that is known as video encoding formats, video editing softwares and screen recording softwares. And this is the conclusion I came to. (Besides that my computer is not fast enough to record and play a game at 60 fps)

There are many ways you can go about this issue, but every solution fulfills another requirement:

  • Use a time-lapse program to capture screenshots of your display at an intervall. Edit and modify every single picture and convert it into a GIF or video with some other tool.
    • Good for making timelapses of your work
    • Bad for recording game footage as screenshot intervals unlikely go beyond 1 fps
  • Use a screen recording program to record a video, edit it with a video editing software and later convert your video into a GIF.
    • Good for making actual (gameplay) videos (skipping the ‘convert to GIF’ part)
      • Software recommended for recording: Open Broadcaster Software
      • Software recommended for video editing: None (Please, if you know of any great video editing software that’s free, tell me right away)
    • Nearly ensures horrible quality while maintaining an immense file size. (Wonderful combination, right?)
  • Use a screen capturing program that records directly to a GIF.
    • Good for creating short GIFs of your games gameplay
      • Software recommended: GifCam
    • Still not the best quality (hey, what did you expect, it’s gif) and often only supports recording for short timespans.

(honorable mention for editing GIFs: ezgif.com)

Although I found some new and interesting software, I’m sure this won’t be the last time I will have to struggle with this. Next time, I’ll probably just go with WebM and hope that it already replaced GIF…

The part everyone was waiting for

So here are some animated gifs (created with GifCam) showing some new features in action.

Too much power can easily backfire    Oh, what is that?

Tactical Warfare   Let's play 'Catch the dynamite'

-Anton

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